Department for Education ends use of “expulsion” terminology after sector pressure

Tuesday 18 May 2021

Tags: education, exclusions

The Department for Education (DfE) has said it will not refer to permanent exclusions as “expulsions” following an open letter to the government from the Council for Disabled Children (CDC), Ambitious about Autism and the Special Education Consortium (SEC).

In a letter in response, Vicky Ford MP, Parliament Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, said that the department has listened to concerns from stakeholders and sector organisations around the word “expulsions”. Concerns included that the term is outdated, evoking an era of forcible punishment, and at odds with Edward Timpson’s review of exclusions which found that particular groups of children are disproportionately excluded and have very poor outcomes as a result.

As a result, the DfE will use the term ‘permanent exclusions’ instead. However, fixed-term exclusions will continue to be referred to as ‘suspensions’, which the sector organisations had told Ford trivialises the action of the exclusion.

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