We must take action to end the culture of exclusion that has emerged in recent years and which is pushing vulnerable children into the hands of gangs and criminals. Pete Henshaw reports

From 2010 to 2020, children aged 12 to 14 consistently have the highest numbers of exclusions – these are the children most at risk of becoming involved with the criminal justice system.

A “culture of exclusion” is emerging in our schools – secondary, but also primary – which has seen a gradual but steady rise in children being thrown out of their schools.

Permanent exclusion figures stood at 5,082 in 2010/11 but by 2018/19, before Covid, they hit 7,894. Even in the Covid-hit 2019/20, our mainstream education system managed to exclude 5,057 children.

And as ever with exclusion figures – those with SEND, certain ethnic minorities, disadvantaged children and those in care are disproportionately more likely to be kicked out of school.

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