Today, Thursday 18 April, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) – sponsored by the National Education Union - released a report on pupils who are removed from school for unexplained reasons. The report says that from the cohort of pupils that finished year 11 in 2017, there were 55,000 removed from school rolls without a reason. This has been covered by the Guardian, BBC Online, the Times, the Independent, the Mail, I News, the Sun and the Telegraph. The story was also covered on broadcast channels including the Today programme, BBC Breakfast and Sky News.
There are legitimate reasons that children may be moved around the system, however we are clear that it is illegal to remove pupils based on academic results.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
No headteacher goes into the job to remove a pupil from school - and no headteacher takes the decision to do so lightly. Schools will typically have gone through a number of sanctions before exclusion is considered, taking into account the welfare of other pupils in the classroom.
It is against the law to remove pupils on the basis of academic results – any school that does it is breaking the law.
We have written to all schools to remind them of the rules on exclusions, and Edward Timpson is currently reviewing how schools use them and why some groups of children are more likely to be excluded from school than others.