Best Practice

Behaviour and exclusion

More than half of UK prisoners were excluded from school. In a new series of articles for SecEd, Karen Sullivan considers the exclusion picture in England and looks at possible alternative approaches

It is hard to miss the fact that zero-tolerance approaches to dealing with students who have breached school rules is fast becoming a trend in our education system.

Indeed, the papers are full of stories about children being sent home for minor breaches of protocol, including incorrect uniform or even late arrival at school and/or to classes. Add to this the imposition of often immediate exclusions for behaviour issues and, most alarmingly, inadequate performance, and we see an issue that is becoming increasingly worrying, with a long and short-term impact on both students and society in general.

The Department for Education suggests that 6,685 pupils were permanently excluded from schools in England alone in 2015/16, an increase of 40 per cent over the past three years.

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