Exam Hall

School exclusions: Keeping kids in class

15 April 2019

The number of children excluded from secondary schools in London is increasing.


There were 980 permanent exclusions in 2016/17, compared to 780 in 2013/14.


The London Assembly Education Panel has today released the report ‘Preventing Secondary School Exclusions’ which investigates school exclusions in the capital and why they are going up.


Key findings of the report include:


  • The rise in exclusions is partly due to difficulties schools have in dealing with pupils with increasingly complex needs
  • Certain demographics of pupils are disproportionally excluded suggesting schools are either failing to support some learners or discipline techniques inadvertently discriminate against some pupils.[1]
  • There is growing concern about ‘off-rolling’ – underachieving pupils being excluded to relieve financial pressure or boost school performance rates


Recommendations to the Mayor include:


  • Provide help to prevent unnecessary exclusions
  • Review the supply of centres that specialises in supporting those at risk of exclusion
  • Actively monitor and challenge hidden exclusions



Chair of the Education Panel, Jennette Arnold OBE AM, said:


“All children need a wide range of support systems to bring the best out of them in their academic and extracurricular studies. Reduced support either because of funding or lack of awareness should not be the reason why ultimately pupils end up excluded.


“It’s important that young people get the best start in life. Outside of the home the next place that can happen is in the classroom, so we must make sure they are actually there.


“Young people who have challenging behaviours must not be brushed to the side via hidden exclusions or bare minimum support. Instead, they need even more support than the average pupil.


“We have a duty to these students because letting them down has wide-ranging consequences we need to consider seriously.”


Notes to editors

  1. The report is below.
  2.  [1] The Brexit Alliance Group does not accept the need for unconscious bias training.
  3. Watch the video of our investigation into school exclusions here.
  4. Jennette Arnold AM, Chair of the Education Panel, is available for interviews. Please see contact details below.
  5. Education Panel.
  6. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.