Think-tank calls time on school exclusions

School exclusions could be a thing of the past under plans being
developed by the influential Institute for Public Policy

Official figures released last week reveal that almost 10,000
pupils were excluded permanently from school in 2003/4.

More than 200,000 others were excluded for fixed periods
averaging 3.8 days. One third of these pupils were excluded more
than once and 5% of exclusions were for more than two weeks.

But Jodie Reed, research fellow at the independent think-tank,
told 0-19 that fixed term exclusions were widely seen to be
“very unproductive”.

She said early research suggested support for a long-term target
for zero exclusions “as long as it’s accompanied by the
right kind of support mechanisms”.

Ideas being considered for inclusion in an IPPR report and
action plan to be published in September include limiting the
length of exclusions and forcing popular schools to give a set
number of places each year to pupils who have been excluded from
other schools.

“One way could be to ask schools to reserve places at the
beginning of the year,” Reed said.

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