Schools admit informally excluding pupils

A dozen schools in England, Northern Ireland and Wales have admitted informally excluding pupils at some stage last year, the BBC has learned.

BBC News asked more than 1,000 secondary schools whether they informally excluded children last year, using Freedom of Information requests.

And six schools in England, five in Northern Ireland and one in Wales have admitted doing so.

One email obtained by BBC News from a school illustrates the lack of choice given to a parent asked to keep their child at home. The email advises their son take two days off “to calm down”, an act the school says “may avoid fixed-term exclusions at this stage”.

BBC News has also received two reports from within schools of senior leaders regularly sending challenging pupils home immediately after second attendance.

Charlie Crittenden, now 21, says he was often informally excluded from school. “Some days I was getting sent home twice a week. You just feel worthless. You’ve got no meaning in life,” says Charlie.

He says he spent every day of a year in the school’s inclusion unit and was frequently unofficially excluded for what he says were “tiny things”.

Charlie says he was placed on a two-hour-a-day timetable for the final two months of his last year at the school. “No-one ever agreed to that,” he says.

In 2013, a report by the then Children’s Commissioner for England called for head teachers to face disciplinary proceedings when informal exclusions were proven and prosecution when school records were falsified to cover them up.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said evidence of informal exclusions would be taken “very seriously”.

Read the full article Schools admit informally excluding pupils

Have you seen pupils excluded informally? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~Tamsin

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