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Report highlights the negative impact of exclusions in primary school

Sector News

Chance UK, a London-based charity supporting children with trauma, have published their commissioned study into the long-term impact of exclusions and suspensions in primary school. The ‘Too Young to Leave Behind’ report follows five year groups across their school life, from reception to taking their GCSE’s. The study includes data from 3.2 million pupils in England, of those 0.14% were permanently excluded from primary school and 2.3% were suspended. This means that about one in every 40 children experienced some form of permanent or temporary exclusion in primary school.

The key findings show:

  • 97% of those excluded at primary school had a special educational need (SEND)
  • Over 90% of children excluded from primary school don’t achieve a Grade 4 or above in English and maths
  • 67% of those pupils with an exclusion or suspension were also on free school meals
  • 59% of those with an exclusion or suspension were identified as ‘Child in Need’ 
  • 69% of children excluded in primary school received at least one suspension in secondary school compared to 14% for those not excluded in primary school

Chance UK are calling for:

  • Prevent: We know early intervention works - 80% of children mentored by Chance UK improve their school attendance and a far higher number have improved behaviour at school and home. We should invest in and embed early interventions services, such as Chance UK, as soon as children show signs of needing support. 
  • Target: We should provide regular statutory training on best practice to reduce exclusions to all school staff and trainee teachers and also provide specialist mental health support with dedicated funding in primary, not just secondary school. 
  • Support: After a child has been excluded or suspended, an individual plan of support must be put in place involving specialist support to reduce the risk of exclusion.

The team at Chance UK are wanting to build a bank of resources to speak to the realities of exclusions in primary schools and can be contacted via their website.