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Education Secretary confirms DfE 'backing' for exclusions

4 September 2019

Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has confirmed that head teachers who take “the decision to either suspend or expel a pupil because they need to do it in order to be able to enforce proper and full discipline in their school, and making sure that they're protecting the whole interests of the school, will always have my backing".

His comments come in light of a raft of new DfE initiatives designed to address poor behaviour in schools, some of which were leaked to the press last week. These include new guidance on behaviour, encouraging the confiscation or ban of mobile phones in schools and a new wave of free schools, including alternative provision schools for excluded children.

It will be interesting to see how these initiatives address the recommendations of the ‘Timpson Review of School Exclusion’, which was published in May. We certainly expect to see radical changes to the statutory and non-statutory guidance on behaviour and exclusions, including when it may not be appropriate to consider alternatives to exclusion and what is meant by exclusions being a ‘last resort’. Our essential guide to the Timpson Review suggests actions that schools can prepare for the anticipated changes.

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