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Reasons for kicking out pupils ‘much too varied’

A WIDE-RANGING review of school exclusions has found ‘too much variation’ in pupils kicked out of school.

Education secretary Damian Hinds said the government would begin implementing the 30 recommendations made by former Conservative minister Edward Timpson, whose long-awaited report into school exclusions is published today.

They include measures to make sure schools are accountable for exam results of pupils they exclude and to tackle off-rolling, where children are removed from the school register without being formally excluded.

Mr Timpson said: ‘Exclusion from school should never mean exclusion from education. I have found too much variation in the use of exclusions and too many missed opportunities for children to remain in the education that best suits their needs.’

Overall, 0.1 per cent of the 8million children in schools in England were permanently excluded in 2016/17 — an average of 40 a day — the highest figure since 2007/8. A total of 78 per cent were children who had special educational needs or were eligible for free school meals. Black Caribbean were among those who saw higher rates.

Earlier this year, London mayor Sadiq Khan and eight Police and Crime Commissioners said excluded youngsters were being ‘sucked into criminality’.

Mr Timpson said it would be wrong to suggest exclusion causes crime but it indicated ‘a higher risk of exposure to and involvement in crime’.