Ofsted’s chief inspector has told headteachers that they must not lose the right to permanently exclude pupils.
Amanda Spielman set out her concerns in a speech this morning at the NAHT headteachers' union's annual conference in Telford.
Her comments follow reports that the government's long-awaited Timpson Review into exclusions and off-rolling might seek to cut heads' powers.
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She said: “I have defended the right of heads to exclude permanently in the small number of cases where it is necessary to do so.
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“It cannot be right that the ultimate sanction, if used properly, be removed from headteachers.”
Tes revealed last month that the Timpson Review has been delayed because of a behind-the-scenes struggle over proposals to curtail schools’ right to exclude.
Several sources who have seen drafts of the report said that Edward Timpson – the former Conservative children’s minister leading the review – was minded to take an aggressive stance on limiting headteachers’ powers.
However, Tes understands that this has been resisted by education ministers.
Today Ms Spielman also raised concerns about pupils leaving school rolls.
Ofsted has said that schools found off-rolling – effectively removing pupils from their rolls in order to improve their position in league tables – under its new inspection regime are likely to get an "inadequate" judgement for leadership and management and judged to be failing overall.