Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, responding to the publication of the independent review into school exclusions, said:
“I welcome this thorough report from Edward Timpson. Our own research has shown that it is a minority of schools which are responsible for the majority of exclusions and that so-called ‘off-rolling’ as well as formal exclusions are sharply increasing. The reasons for this are complex and include a lack of funding for specialist support to keep these children within schools.
“We also know that excluding a child makes him or her much more vulnerable to exploitation by criminal groups, and that currently if a child is excluded their prospects of returning to mainstream education are extremely poor. It is because of this devastating impact on these children’s life chances that I have called for schools to be held accountable for the exam results of pupils they exclude – in order to emphasise our continuing social responsibility for these children, instead of shunting them off into the side lines.
“The majority of schools do excellent work supporting pupils in this very tough financial climate. However, they cannot do this alone – they need help from local services and the whole system of support for vulnerable children needs better funding, and quickly. Ministers need to recognise this and act in the forthcoming Spending Review.”