Today’s blog responds to inaccurate claims in the Sunday Times on exclusions.
On Saturday 16 March, the Sunday Times published a story online on the subject of exclusions and knife crime. The piece claims that legislation is being drawn up to curtail schools’ exclusion powers, which would see headteachers lose their rights to expel pupils – this is untrue and there are no plans to change these powers. Please read our full statement below.
A Government spokesperson said:
We support headteachers in using exclusion as a sanction where it is warranted, but permanent exclusion should only be used as a last resort. No headteacher ever takes the decision to exclude a pupil lightly, and we have no plans to change these powers.
The issues surrounding knife crime and bad behaviour at school are complicated. We should not draw a simple causal link from exclusions to crime.
The Timpson review is looking at how the use and levels of exclusions vary from school to school focusing on those children who are more likely to be excluded. It will report shortly and the Education Secretary has been clear that he has not ruled out holding schools to account for the pupils they place in alternative provision or permanently exclude.