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Permanent exclusions to rise under new guidance?

7 January 2015

Reports have suggested that the new exclusions guidance which came into force on 5 January 2015 will lead to an increase in exclusions. The report suggests that changes to the guidance which changed the test for permanent exclusion as well as no longer referring to exclusion as a last resort will lead to more children being excluded for trivial issues. The DfE stance is that the changes are necessary to ensure that teaching and learning is not disrupted by a minority of pupils and provides greater clarity to headteachers on their exclusion powers.

The assumption that exclusions will rise solely due to the change in guidance is misleading as many school leaders will generally try to keep all children in school despite poor behaviour. Furthermore, the guidance provides a clear review mechanism to ensure the proper operation of the power to exclude which may ultimately require schools to pay a fine of £4,000 for improper permanent exclusion decisions.

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