Schools should publish their exclusions data, say MPs

New report calls on schools to present data on pupil exclusions and the numbers who leave them each year

Catherine Lough

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Schools should publish data on the number of permanent and fixed-term exclusions they carry out, according to a committee of MPs.

This recommendation has been made in a new report from the Commons Select Education Committee, following its inquiry into home education.

It calls on schools to publish their permanent and fixed-term exclusion rates by year group every term and to include information about pupils with SEND ( special educational needs and disability) and looked-after children.

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"Schools should also publish data on the number of pupils who have left the school," it adds.

The report also says that the Department for Education should reconsider the use of independent advocates where pupils are excluded from school for more than five non-consecutive days in a school year, as independent advocates "could guard against coercive off-rolling and provide families considering EHE with neutral guidance".

And it suggests that for some pupils, home education is not a free choice.

"There is clearly a distinction between those families who make a free choice to EHE [elective home education], and those for whom it is not truly ‘elective'," the report says.

"We understand that many home educators do not see off-rolling, exclusion or illegal schools as a problem of EHE.

"However, the fact remains that some families – especially those where children have SEND – feel forced into what should be a free and informed choice," it adds.

The report also notes that while home educators say that illegal schools are not problems linked to home education, the committee also heard that illegal schools provision had an impact on "nominally home-educated children".

Victor Shafiee, deputy director of unregistered and independent schools at Ofsted, told the committee that there were "situations where parents are duped by settings and told to sign letters saying their children are being home educated when, in fact, they are attending illegal schools on a full-time basis".

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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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