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Schools to be held to account for off-roll pupils

Lord Agnew says review will recommend that schools are held responsible for the results of pupils taken off their roll

Lord Agnew says school accountability system could be tightened up in relation to off-rolling

A minister has indicated that schools are set to be held accountable for pupils' results and progress after they are taken off a school's roll.

Lord Agnew told MPs that the Timpson Review includes a recommendation that schools are held responsible for pupils' results after they leave.

Facing MPs' questions on off-rolling and exclusions, he said: “One of the recommendations in there is that schools should have some ownership of a child’s progress after he or she has left the school.

“We are proposing that accountability be tightened for that specific reason.”


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The minister was speaking at today's Commons Education Select Committee hearing about accountability.

Tes reported last week that the publication of the long-awaited Timpson Review report on exclusions and off-rolling has been delayed because of a behind-the-scenes struggle over proposals to curtail schools’ exclusion powers.

Off-rolling and exclusions

Several sources who have seen drafts of the report said that Edward Timpson – the former Tory children’s minister leading the review – was minded to take an aggressive stance on limiting headteachers’ powers.

However, this had been resisted by education ministers, and such an idea will not feature in the final report, Tes has been told.

Sources also told Tes that the review will include a central recommendation that the accountability system should be changed so schools are held to account for the results of pupils they have excluded.

At today's committee hearing, Lord Agnew voiced concern that schools are gaming the exclusion system because the way that non-attendance is recorded is so "labyrinthine".

He told MP James Frith that he agreed that schools should not be able to exclude pupils citing the reason: "other." 

Earlier in the hearing, Mr Frith said: “There is an explosion of excluded children who are at home not being educated. So to that point, should children that are home educated remain the responsibility of the school that they most recently attended vis à vis the results they achieved?

“There are 55,000 children, for unexplained reasons, that have disappeared from the schooling system. I put it to you that is not middle classes electing to home educate – this is a failure on an inclusive education system.”

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