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Pupil Exclusions: Ethnic Groups

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL8834, tabled on 6 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Institute of Race Relations How Black Working-Class Youth are Criminalised and Excluded in the English School System, published on 28 September.

Answered on

20 October 2020

To understand the disparities in school exclusion rates, the department is committed to working with the independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, established by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister.

Exclusions guidance is clear that all schools should consider what extra support might be needed to identify and address the needs of children from groups with disproportionally high rates of exclusion, to reduce their risk of exclusion.

The department is taking forward an ambitious programme of action on school behaviour and is working to rapidly improve the availability of good Alternative Provision, so that permanently excluded children and children at risk of exclusion receive a high quality education suited to their individual needs.

In addition, the department is investing £10 million in Behaviour Hubs which will enable schools and multi-academy trusts, with exemplary behaviour cultures and practices, to work in partnership with those that want to improve their behaviour culture. We are also supporting staff through the Early Career Framework reforms, which will entitle all early career teachers to 2 years of professional development in 5 core areas, including behaviour management.

The department will revise guidance on exclusions to make it clearer and more consistent, so that head teachers have the information they need to use exclusion properly and proportionately. We will continue to engage with key stakeholders including academics, when revising guidance. We are also working with Ofsted to clamp down on off-rolling.

In addition, the department provided £7 million to the See, Hear, Respond service, led by Barnardo’s which will deliver, amongst other things, street-based youth work to identify and support children at risk of harm outside of the home, including criminal exploitation. The £13 million Trusted Relationships Fund (2018-22) also funds 11 different local authorities across England delivering innovative approaches to supporting children and young people aged 10 to 17 at risk of child sexual exploitation or abuse, criminal exploitation and peer on peer abuse.

The department is also funding a £2 million Tackling Child Exploitation support programme to help safeguarding partners in local areas develop an effective response to extra-familial harms such as child sexual and child criminal exploitation.