Call for DfE exclusions review to help adopted pupils

Adopted pupils at higher risk of exclusion than others, says Adoption UK

Call for exclusions review to consider adopted pupils

Adoption UK has called for the Timpson review of school exclusions to look at the position of adopted children, who it said were disproportionately affected by being removed from schools.

It said around half of children excluded from schools had special needs and adopted children were over-represented in this group.

Official exclusions might be “only be the tip of the iceberg”, it said as 12 per cent of adopters said they were told the only way for their child to avoid exclusion was to change school.


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Adoption UK said the review commissioned by the Department for Education and led by former children’s minister Edward Timpson, should call for schools to retain responsibility for the pupils they exclude.

The charity said it should also demand that the DfE collects and publish data on adopted children’s exclusions to enable an accurate understanding of the scale of the problem.

According to Adoption UK, adopted children are:

• Five times more likely than other children to be temporarily excluded from school.

• Twenty times more likely to be permanently excluded.

• Nearly one-third had changed schools because their needs were not adequately being met.

• Twelve per cent of adopted children and their parents had been told by their school that the only way to avoid a permanent exclusion was to voluntarily change schools.

The charity also wants Mr Timpson to support the inclusion in initial teacher training of attachment and trauma-informed training looking at the specific needs of looked after and adopted children. It says that this should carry on into continuing professional development.

The training should include the impact of abuse and neglect on pre-natal and infant development, the impact of pre-natal drug and alcohol abuse and of adverse childhood experiences.

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