Lincolnshire

Watchdog warning over high exclusion rates in Greater Lincolnshire schools

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Education watchdog Ofsted is warning headteachers about high exclusion rates as new figures showed secondary schools in Greater Lincolnshire had some of the highest rates in the region.

Rates of fixed-period secondary school exclusions are the highest in Yorkshire and the Humber region (including North and North East Lincolnshire), in a comparison of nine regions in England.

Fixed-period secondary school exclusions for the school year 2015/16 totalled 270,135 in England. There were 43,230 fixed period exclusions in Yorkshire and the Humber and 24,870 in the East Midlands.

In the Yorkshire and Humber region, secondary schools had the highest number of fixed period exclusions in Leeds (5,734).

In the East Midlands, the highest number was Nottinghamshire (5,763). Lincolnshire had the second highest number.

Fixed period exclusion rates in Greater Lincolnshire. Data: Department for Education

A fixed-period exclusion means a pupil is barred from attending school for a set period of time, which can be anything from part of a school day up to a maximum of 45 days within a single academic year. Pupils can be excluded for more than one fixed period.

The watchdog also mapped exclusions across the country by percentage rates in its annual government report issued on Tuesday, February 20.

Middlesbrough, Barnsley, Redcar and Cleveland, Doncaster, North Lincolnshire, Rotherham, Sheffield and North East Lincolnshire are among the top 10 in the country for secondary school exclusions.

Exclusion rates in the county need addressing

The most common reason for exclusions in the Lincolnshire region was “disruptive behaviour”.

Ofsted has warned headteachers about its concerns for high exclusion rates and called on inspectors to look closely at schools’ leadership judgements.

Ofsted’s Regional Director for the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber Cathy Kirby said: “I fully appreciate variations between individual secondary schools and recognise that there may be valid reasons for schools to exclude pupils.

“But it is difficult to understand why fixed-period exclusion should be so much more necessary in these eight local authorities compared with others.

“Schools should only ever use exclusions as a last resort. If not properly applied, being removed from school can disrupt a child’s education and affect their future life chances.

“So I am asking inspectors to look very carefully at the use of exclusion in areas with high rates compared with national and regional figures. We want to be certain that pupils are being removed for the right reasons.”