Local school leaders need to work together and challenge each other to end off-rolling, a leading head has said.
Stephen Munday, president of the Chartered College of Teaching, spoke ahead of tomorrow’s launch of a new code which aims to tackle such problems.
The Framework for Ethical Leadership in Education has been drawn up by a high-powered commission set up by the Association of School and College Leaders in 2017.
Mr Munday, who is also the chief executive of The Cam Academy Trust in Cambridgeshire, told Tes: “Off-rolling – any of us have to accept it cannot be right or acceptable.
“The ethical framework is very helpful and important because it enables us all to have a jointly understood and agreed way of looking at all of this.
“The Charted College absolutely sits in the middle of all that because it’s the profession leading the profession, setting the profession’s standards, and being collegiate, including challenging ourselves absolutely where that is appropriate, and we should be prepared for that.”
He said the framework will work “so much better in proper local groupings where you have got a commitment to work in certain ways, and in our local context that doesn’t mean we won’t have some robust debates with each other sometimes about what should or shouldn’t happen".
“That’s healthy, actually," he said. "What matters is that [at the moment] we haven’t even got a framework to talk about these things, and we are not prepared to talk and, yes, where appropriate challenge each other, about some of these things.”
Mr Munday said that all the schools in his area work together to “seek to ensure that we don’t have permanent exclusions from any of our schools”.
“We look for creative ways to continue to be responsible for young people’s education even when for them and for their school communities that can be very challenging,” he added.
This could involve “putting learning and curriculum together in different ways”, or pupils being educated in a different local school for a period of time.
One approach that Mr Munday said had proved “fundamental” in his area was to devolve resources that would have been used for out-of-school provision to mainstream schools, in return for them taking responsibility for pupils who might otherwise have been excluded.
He said schools could use this money flexibly, such as by employing more adult non-teachers to help oversee educational programmes for these pupils.