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Pupil Exclusions

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupils who were eligible for free school meals and had non-statemented special educational needs were given (a) fixed-term and (b) permanent exclusions in (i) 2004 and (ii) 2008. (260936)

Exclusions data were matched to pupil characteristics for the first time in 2005/06, but for secondary schools only. In 2006/07 this was extended to primary and special schools. Therefore exclusions related to free school meal eligibility are not available for 2004.

Information on exclusions for the 2007/08 school year is expected to be published in the summer.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupils who were eligible for free school meals, had statemented special educational needs and were children in care were given (a) fixed-term and (b) permanent exclusions in (i) 2004 and (ii) 2008. (260937)

Currently available sources of data on children in care do not provide sufficiently complete data to answer this question.

Information on children in care is usually sourced from the Looked After Children database but this cannot be used to answer this question.

The OC2 data collection collects information on a range of outcomes for looked after children from local authorities. This information has been published in the Statistical First Release “Outcome Indicators for Children Looked After, Twelve months to 30 September 2007—England” (SFR 08/2008), which is available on the Department’s website via the following link:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000785/index.shtml

This includes some information on permanent exclusions. Information on fixed period exclusions is not covered by the OC2 data collection.

Information on both pupils in care and fixed period exclusions are collected via the School Census. However the School Census does not cover all looked after children; information is not collected for pupils in alternative provision, including pupil referral units, FE colleges, voluntary provision and those not in education or training. In addition, the School Census may undercount the number of looked after children in schools.

The Department is working on a project to match the Looked After Children database to the National Pupil Database. If successful this would enable us to produce analysis for looked after children on a range of attainment indicators and characteristics, including information on special educational needs and exclusions.