As the debate rages on regarding punitive approaches to (mis)understanding behaviour (see £10 million spend on ‘behaviour’), Edward Timpson’s long awaited review hit the public today.
There are no surprises and I am not about to give a detailed analysis on what has emerged as people more equipped than I will most certainly take the time to do so. However, I will highlight this:
- 78% of pupils who are permanently excluded either have SEN, are classified as in need or are eligible for free school meals. 11% of permanently excluded children have all three characteristics.
- Boys with social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH) but no statement were around 3.8 times more likely to be permanently excluded than a non-SEN child while girls were around 3.0 times more likely after controlling for other factors.
- Disadvantage is strongly associated with exclusion, after controlling for other pupil characteristics. Children in receipt of Free School Meals were around 45% more likely to be excluded than other pupils.
- After accounting for other factors, Black Caribbean were around 1.7 times more likely, and Mixed White and Black Caribbean children were around 1.6 times more likely, to be permanently excluded compared to White British children. Indian and Bangladeshi pupils are around half as likely to be permanently excluded.
- Controlling for other factors, children on a Children in Need Plan are around 4 times more likely to be permanently excluded compared to those with no social care classification.
- Children who have a Child Protection Plan are around 3.5 times more likely to be permanently excluded, and children who are looked after are around 2.3 times as likely to be permanently excluded than children who have never been supported by social care.
As suspected/known by many of us, exclusions are in fact used disproportionately affecting children in need, children in care, children on free school meals, children with SEN, Black Caribbean children and those on a child protection plan.
I can only conclude that this confirms the view that the most vulnerable children, those most in need of a having a sense of belonging in the school environment, express their needs in such a way that most schools are simply not equipped enough to hear.
I would also be bold enough to assert that this report strikes me as in direct conflict with the language and tone that I have seen regarding the creation of a ‘Behaviour Network’. We may well be at a crossroads in education, one that will define whether or not our education system is in fact a universal one!
Read the full report here.