Fifth of teachers have witnessed ‘off-rolling'

Two-thirds of teachers are aware of off-rolling – schools excluding pupils to boost their results, a poll shows

John Roberts

One in five teachers has worked in a school which "off-rolled" its pupils

One in five teachers has seen their school exclude pupils in order to improve results, according to a new survey.

Ofsted’s annual teacher survey reveals that more than 20 per cent of those questioned had seen first-hand experience of schools “off-rolling.”

In the survey, 11 per cent of teachers questioned said they had seen it in their current school and another 10 per cent said it had happened at one of their former schools.

Another 45 per cent of respondents said they had heard of it happening in the system – meaning that two-thirds of the teachers questioned were aware of off-rolling happening in schools.

According to the YouGov survey conducted for Ofsted, 32 per cent of teachers said they were unaware of the practice.

Those who were unaware of off-rolling were more likely to work in primary schools than secondary schools, according to the report published today.

Ofsted’s survey shows the responses of just over 1,000 teachers to a range of questions about their school and the inspectorate.

It also reveals that 51 per cent of teachers questioned did not accept that Ofsted was a reliable arbiter of school standards.

The questions on off-rolling follow Ofsted’s attempts to tackle this issue.

Ofsted crackdown on off-rolling

Earlier this year, the inspectorate said that it had identified 300 schools with particularly high levels of off-rolling where pupils were leaving between Year 10 and taking their GCSEs.

It found that of the 2,900 schools that lost some pupils between Years 10 and 11, there were 560 where numbers were significantly above what Ofsted would expect and 300 where this had been the case for two years.

The inspectorate also warned that around half of the 19,000 pupils who left a school between Year 10 and 11 in 2017 did not reappear in the census at another state school.

Ofsted has developed a model to investigate where exceptional levels of pupils have moved.

The inspectorate is expected to use its findings in discussions with local authorities and multi-academy trusts, and to ask questions of schools during inspections.

Earlier this year children's minister Nadhim Zahawi vowed to crack down on schools that are unofficially excluding pupils.

He was speaking before the Commons Education Select Committee amid growing concern about the scale of exclusions among certain groups of children – such as those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), who account for almost half of all permanent and fixed-term exclusions – and what happens to children after they are excluded.


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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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