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Permanent and fixed-period exclusions in England (2018/2019)

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The DfE have published statistics on permanent and fixed-period exclusions in England 2018/19.

Permanent exclusions:

A permanent exclusion refers to a pupil who is excluded and who will not come back to that school (unless the exclusion is overturned). Note, the permanent exclusion rate is the percentage of permanent exclusions per pupil population.

  • The rate of permanent exclusions has remained at 0.10 in 2018/19 (10 pupils per 10,000).
  • The permanent exclusion rates have increased since 2012/13 (0.6) and remained stable since 2016/2017 at 0.10.
  • The rate is highest in pupil referral units (PRUs) and then secondary schools
    • The rate of permanent exclusions in PRUs is 0.22. This is a 38% increase from 2017/18 (0.16). The rate has been increasing since 2013/14 when it was 0.10.
    • The rate of permanent exclusions in secondary schools was 0.20. This is unchanged from 2017/18 and 2016/17.
    • The rate of permanent exclusions in primary schools was 0.02, a decrease from 0.03 in 2017/18
    • The rate of permanent exclusions in special schools was 0.06, a decrease from 0.07 in 2017/18
  • In 2018/19, 661 reviews were lodged against permanent exclusions, an increase of 3.2% on 2017/18. Of these, 610 (92.3%) were determined by an independent review panel, down from 93.6% in 2017/18.
    • Of those determined by an independent review panel, 108 reviews (17.7%) were recommended reconsideration by the governing body (up from 16.0% in 2017/18).

Fixed period exclusions:

Fixed period exclusion refers to a pupil who is excluded from a school for a set period of time.

  • The rate of fixed period exclusions has increased by 5 , from 5.08 to 5.36 in 2018/19, which is equivalent to 536 pupils per 10,000. The number of fixed period exclusions has increased from 410,800 to 438,300.
  • This continues an increasing trend from 2013/14.This increase has been mostly driven by secondary schools, while there has been a decrease for special schools.
    • The rate of fixed period exclusions in secondary schools increased from 10.13 to 10.75.  This been increasing since 2012/13 when the rate was 6.72
    • The rate of fixed period exclusions in special schools decreased by 9% from 12.34 to 11.32. This follows a pattern, with decreases in special schools seen in all but one year (2016/17) since 2006/07 when exclusion rates were 18.32.
    • The rate of fixed period exclusions in primary schools increased from 1.40 to 1.41 between 2017/18 and 2018/19.
  • Fixed period exclusions rate is highest in PRUs, the rate has increased since 2017/19 by 21% from 158.40 to 191.09 in 2018/19.
    • This is the highest rate since data was first collected in 2013/14.
  • The increase in fixed period exclusions has been driven most strongly by more pupils having repeated exclusions.
    • 84,500 pupil enrolments had two or more fixed period exclusions in 2018/19, an increase from 78,900 in 2017/18.
  • Most fixed period exclusions are for a short duration.
    •  49% of all fixed period exclusions were for one day and 98% were for five days or less. This is similar to 2017/18.
    • 76% of pupils who had one or more fixed period exclusion missed a total of five days or less throughout the year, with 29% missing a single day.

Pupil characteristics

Gender

  • Boys have higher exclusion rates than girls. Boys have more than three times the number of permanent exclusions, with 6,000 permanent exclusions, at a rate of 0.14 compared to 1,900 for girls in 2018/19 (0.05).
  • However, the number and rate f permanent exclusions for boys has decreased, from 6,100 (0.15) in 2017/18. The number of permanent exclusions for girls has increased, from 1,800 in 2017/18 (0.05).
  • The rate of fixed period exclusions has risen for boys, from 7.23 to 7.55 and for girls from 2.83 to 3.08.

Ethnicity

Pupils from certain ethnic groups have a higher rate of both permanent and fixed period exclusion. The highest rates can be found in these four ethnic groups:

  • As in previous years, pupils of Gypsy/Roma ethnic groups had the highest rates of both permanent (0.39) and fixed period exclusions (21.26), both respectively 4 times the national average,
  • This is followed by Traveller of Irish heritage ethnic groups at 0.27 and 14.63 respectively, 2.7 times the national average respectively. The fixed period exclusion rate for Travellers of Irish heritage has decreased from 17.42 to 14.63.
  • For pupils from a Black Caribbean background the rate of permanent exclusions is 0.25 (2.5 times the national average) and the rate of fixed period exclusions is 10.37 (almost twice the national average).
  • For pupils from a mixed White and Black Caribbean background, the permanent exclusions rate is 0.24 (2.4 times the national average) and the fixed period exclusions rate is 10.69 (twice the national average)
  • The fixed period exclusion rate has increased for all ethnic groups, except Black Caribbean, and Irish.

SEND

  • Exclusion rates are higher among special educational needs (SEN) pupils,
  • The permanent exclusion rate for SEN pupils with an education, health and care (EHC) plan is 0.15, and for pupils with SEN with no EHC plan (SEN support) is 0.32, compared to 0.06 for those without SEN.
  • The fixed period exclusion rate is higher also, at 16.11 for EHC pupils and 15.59 for SEN support pupils, compared to 3.57 for those not eligible.

FSM eligible pupils:

  • The permanent exclusion rate for FSM eligible pupils is 0.27, compared to 0.06 for those not eligible (4.5 times higher).
  • The fixed period exclusion rate is higher also, at 13.76 for FSM eligible pupils, compared to 3.83 for those not eligible (3.5 times higher).

Reasons for exclusions:

  • Persistent disruptive behaviour is the most common reason for both permanent exclusions (35%) and fixed period exclusions (31%).
  • Physical assault against a pupil (13%) and physical assault against an adult (10%) were the next most prominent reasons for permanent exclusions.
  • Physical assault against a pupil (16%) and verbal abuse or threatening behaviour against an adult (15%) were the next most prominent reasons for fixed period exclusions.

Read the full report here.

 

First published 30 July 2020