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Exclusion Data released


The statistics on permanent exclusions and suspensions for the academic year 2019/20 have been released by the Department for Education. Despite high profile campaigns to highlight the disparity in rates of exclusion amongst pupils with SEN and calls for better support for unmet needs, the data shows that children and young people with SEN are still significantly more likely to be excluded from school. 

  • A pupil with SEN is between 2 and 5 times more likely to be permanently excluded and 4 to 5 times more likely to be suspended in comparison to a peer without SEN. 
  • Children or young people with SEMH identified as their primary need are 15 times more likely to be permanently excluded and 13.5 times more likely to be suspended than a peer without SEN. 
  • The most commonly stated reason for both permanent exclusions and suspensions continues to be persistent disruptive behaviour. 
  • There is huge variation in the exclusion rates across different areas of the UK with the rate in the North East 3 times higher for permanent exclusions and twice as high for suspensions when compared to the areas of lowest rate.  

These rates are lower than a typical year due to many pupils not being present in school as a result of the lockdowns. However, the figures from the Autumn term were up for both permanent exclusions (up 5%) and suspensions (up 14%). This increase is despite the much publicised Timpson Review being released earlier in the year that this data was collected. The disproportionate rates of exclusion for pupils with SEMH needs was again pointed out and the report stressed that “we must be better and smarter at knowing how to support these children towards a more positive outcome than exclusion”. 
There has been little time to act upon the recommendations of the Timpson Review and any impact was unlikely to be reflected in this latest set of data. Moving forward it is hoped that, with further support provided to schools to help develop understanding of how to meet the needs of all students, fewer students will have to experience the negative short and long-term impact that exclusions have upon their lives.