Timpson Review – off-rolling to grind to a halt?

There has long been a concern regarding pupils being ‘off-rolled’ – an exclusion in all but name, when done for the wrong reasons or without due cause. These pupils are then without access to the formal safeguards that the exclusion process affords them e.g. provision education after exclusion.

08 May 2019

There has long been a concern regarding pupils being ‘off-rolled’ – an exclusion in all but name, when done for the wrong reasons or without due cause. These pupils are then without access to the formal safeguards that the exclusion process affords them e.g. provision education after exclusion. There have been worrying situations where children are made to leave their schools or removed from the roll of a school without legitimate grounds.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector highlighted this situation and the recently released Timpson Review of exclusions has reinforced that this problem needs to be addressed to ensure that pupils are not left vulnerable to ‘off-rolling’ or the risks associated with it. Removing pupils without the correct process and reviews can prevent proper accountability and scrutiny of decisions.

The new Ofsted framework looks to support the prevention of these situations and will support inspectors to question schools where there are signs of ‘off-rolling.’ It will be flagged where there is evidence that ‘off-rolling’ has been done to benefit school and not the pupil. How the schools will be held to account for this is as yet to be consulted on, but this is a step in the right direction to join up approaches and oversight to properly safeguard pupils that are at risk of missing education. 

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Laura Murphy

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Laura.murphy@brownejacobson.com

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