The government’s review of exclusions will cover off-rolling, despite this not being in its original remit, Tes can reveal.
It comes as Ofsted this week raised concerns about thousands of children “disappearing” from the school system as schools seek to remove pupils who could damage their headline results.
The DfE announced in March that former education minister Edward Timpson would lead a probe, into the the school exclusions and the reasons they have risen.
Its terms of reference include examining why exclusion rates vary for different groups of children and in different parts of the country, but not schools encouraging parents to home educate their children in order to boost the school’s league table position.
However, Tes understands that the review’s report, which is expected to be published in the new year, will reference off-rolling.
The DfE believes it would be "narrow minded" for the Timpson review to only focus on exclusions if it was presented with evidence about off-rolling.
The topic has been of mounting public concern. Last year, Ofsted told its inspectors to crack down on schools that off-roll pupils.
The children’s commissioner for England has called for schools that do this to be fined, and the government’s school admissions watchdog has reported growing concerns from councils about the practice.
Labour shadow education secretary Angela Rayner has said Labour would hold schools to account for the results of children that leave their roll until they find another permanent place.
Education secretary Damian Hinds has said he has not ruled out this step, but is waiting to see Mr Timpson’s findings.