School Exclusions

Exclusions is a subject that we receive a lot of calls and emails about at SENDIASS and last week we presented a Webinar on the subject. We included information about the different types of exclusions, when exclusions should be used (and when not), what you should be able to lawfully expect if your child has been excluded and what to do if you do not agree with an exclusion. You can find the Webinar and the accompanying Legislation and Statutory guidance on our Videos and Webinars  page of our website.

One of the things we mentioned in the Webinar was the School Exclusion Review by Edward Timpson (known as the ‘Timpson Review’).

According to the Timpson review of school exclusion Literature review  :

Official statistics show that children with SEN represent 14% of the state-funded school population (DfE, 2018b) but account for almost half of permanent exclusions (DfE, 2018a). The same data show that pupils with SEN support are almost six times more likely to receive a permanent exclusion than pupils with no SEN and pupils with any type of SEN are around five times more likely to receive a fixed period exclusion.

Vulnerable groups of children are more likely to be excluded, with 78% of permanent exclusions issued to children who had special educational needs (SEN), or classified as in need or eligible for free school meals.

Edward Timpson made 30 ‘recommendations’ in his report and whilst the Government have accepted all of them ‘in principle’ there are 3 specific responses in the Government Response paper specifically relating to SEN which we wanted to highlight here: 

Government response to recommendation 1: ………. We will also revise the SEND Code of Practice before the end of 2020.

Government response to recommendation 6: We welcome the additional evidence gathered by this report and recognise the need to ensure that SENCOs and Designated Senior Leads have access to specialist support to help them identify additional needs and put in place effective interventions. To support new SENCOs, we are funding the development of a SENCO induction pack and a guide for school leaders in the most effective deployment of SENCOs according to setting. We are also reviewing the learning outcomes for the Masters level National Award in SEN Coordination (NASENCO) that new SENCOs are required to achieve, to ensure that they reflect the changing needs of the educational system. We will support schools and colleges to train a Designated Senior Lead for Mental Health, free of charge. This training will enable senior leads to set up an effective whole school/college approach to mental health and wellbeing. This will include how to incorporate mental health and wellbeing in the design of behaviour policies, curriculum and pastoral support; how staff are supported with their own mental wellbeing; and how pupils and parents are engaged. The department published updated ‘Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools’ advice in November 2018. This advice helps schools to identify pupils whose behaviour may be a result of an underlying mental health difficulty, and how to support them, within an approach to behaviour that is based on clear expectations. The advice contains specific information about how schools can support pupils through Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and on whole school trauma and attachment awareness. This guidance will be revised in response to Edward Timpson’s review.

Government response to recommendation 18: We recognise the need for better signposting for parents and carers. We will update guidance for parents as recommended and will consider how to meet the recommendations on Local Offers and Information, Advice and Support Services.

We will continue to watch out for updates on this and will publish when we hear or see anything new.

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