Exclusions and alternative provision (England)

…children with behavioural problems, mental health issues or special educational needs and disabilities may be placed in alternative provision that doesn’t work for them

Anna Feuchtwang of the National Children’s Bureau responds to report by Education Select Committee:

‘We welcome the report by the Education Select Committee, showing how the deeply worrying rise in exclusions, coupled with poorly regulated alternative provision, is denying many their right to a high quality education that meets their needs.

‘The vast majority of disabled children, and those with special education needs, can and should be educated in mainstream schools. Yet the steep increase in exclusions comes as schools struggle to provide appropriate support for pupils that could enable them to retain their school place.

‘This often means children with behavioural problems, mental health issues or special educational needs and disabilities may be placed in alternative provision that doesn’t work for them. When these settings aren’t appropriate the quality and suitability of the education they provide can be weak and educational outcomes poor.

‘The report underlines that when a child is excluded, the staff who review the case must have the power to overturn that decision and return the child to school. And that local authorities need greater powers to monitor and oversee how exclusions are handled, working across different schools and other settings, so they can take full responsibility for providing the best learning opportunities for these children.’

National Children’s Bureau

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