Agenda item

Exclusions Update

A report providing the Committee with update on actions being taken to prevent and reduce exclusions and suspensions.


The Committee received a report providing an update on actions being taken to prevent and reduce exclusions and suspensions and an overview of suspensions and permanent exclusions.


The report provided information on the learning of local and national research into steps to reduce exclusions and increase support for children and young people in schools.  This included the ‘HearME’ project a research project led by young people on their experiences of permanent exclusion in Reading. The final report had been published in 2023 with a response and recommendations document co-authored and shared with schools and stakeholders that had focused on young people’s voices.   Also, all recommendations made in the government commissioned Timpson Review of School Exclusions that had been published in 2019, had informed the action plan to ensure that schools had the best conditions for children to thrive and progress.  Termly strategies had been developed with the Education Leadership Team and the Director of Education to ensure a focused response to the increase in suspension and permanent exclusions. Also, the impact of the child voice related to exclusions were regularly reviewed through monthly meetings to monitor various areas of the service.


The report provided data on suspension and permanent exclusions since 2018 until 2022 in comparison to the national average and statistical neighbour data. Reading was below the national average and the southeast for suspensions until the spring term 2019-20 and spring terms 2020-21 and had moved back to below the national average from summer 2020-21 onwards.  In relation to permanent exclusions Reading schools were down by one in 2022-23 in comparison to the previous academic year but had increased from 8 to 11 for Reading children in out of Borough schools.  Information was also included on rescindments and overturned permanent exclusions and it was noted that out of 45 issued, 12 permanent exclusions were rescinded or overturned over the course of the academic year, including 7 for children with identified SEND.


Disproportionality suspension data with regard to ethnicity was also included and it was identified that the global majority were children of black Caribbean, mixed white black Caribbean, mixed black African and pupils of any other black background. Continued action in this area was being undertaken included the Anti Racist Project undertaken by the School Effectiveness Team.  Work and information on this data was being shared with the Education Partnership Board to ensure that actions plans were reviewed to ensure focus.


Work was also being undertaken with the Youth Justice Board to enable the link between exclusions and suspensions and the increase in the likelihood of young people entering the criminal justice system.  Work continued to ensure strategies were closely linked and services were working together to improve the outcomes for young people.


The Committee requested that a further report regarding the work being undertaken and data regarding disproportionality relating to ethnicity and suspension and exclusions be submitted to a future meeting.


Resolved –  


(1)          That the report and the current work being undertaken to prevent and reduce exclusions and suspensions be noted;


(2)          That a report with further information on disproportionality regarding ethnicity and data on suspensions and exclusions be submitted to a future meeting.

Supporting documents: