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Pupil Exclusions

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what research his Department has commissioned on the effects of exclusion on pupils in the last three years; (291949)

(2) what guidance his Department has issued to schools on the criteria to be used in determining whether or not to exclude a specific pupil;

(3) what guidance his Department has issued to local education authorities on school exclusions and the provision of alternative arrangements for the education of excluded pupils.

The law on exclusion is a devolved issue and any question relating to Wales’ educational system should be put to the Welsh Assembly.

The Department has not commissioned research on the impact of exclusion from school on pupils in the last three years.

Guidance for schools and local authorities in England on exclusion is available in “Improving behaviour and attendance: guidance on exclusion from schools and Pupil Referral Units 2008” available at:

Head teachers have discretion to deal with pupils who are displaying challenging behaviour. Responses to such behaviour should be made in the context of the school’s behaviour policy, and should encompass a range of strategies, with exclusion as one option, so that the interests of the whole school are reflected in the action taken.

Exclusion from school in England should not mean exclusion from education. Since September 2007, all schools have had a statutory duty to provide suitable, full-time education for pupils who have been given a fixed period exclusion of six days or more. Likewise, English local authorities have a duty to arrange suitable, full-time education for pupils who have been permanently excluded from the sixth day of their exclusion. This requirement applies to all pupils of compulsory school age.