Go back a step

Department for Education to review rising numbers of school exclusions

Tuesday 13th March 2018

The education secretary Damian Hinds has announced a government review of exclusions in schools, saying that exclusion rates are too high.

Hinds has told schools that exclusions should be "a last resort."

He said, "I would like to see the number of children who are excluded from school coming down. Although exclusion rates are lower than they were 10 years ago, they have gone up in the last couple of years and it's really important we understand why."

The review will be led by Edward Timpson, a former children's minister.

Una Summerson, our head of policy, welcomed the government review, saying: "Our helpline regularly advises parent carers on permanent, fixed term and unofficial (unlawful) exclusions.

"Contact's research, Falling through the net [PDF], found that children with a disability, special educational or additional needs are routinely illegally excluded from school. Shockingly nearly a quarter (22 percent) of those who responded to our survey said their child was illegally excluded every week.

"This is having a devastating impact on their education and mental health, and half of parents report they are unable to work due to the impact of illegal exclusions on family life."

It is important to remember that illegal exclusions are unlawful - even with the parents' consent. A child can only be legally excluded from school for disciplinary reasons. A head teacher must formally tell parents that their child will be excluded by giving them details in writing. 

If your child has been excluded and you need advice, you can visit our exclusions webpage or speak to an education expert on our free helpline.