Permanent school exclusions in Surrey: What works to keep children and young people in education?

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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This report focuses on children and young people permanently excluded from school in Surrey and makes recommendations for how systems and services might work together to support school inclusion and the right of all young people to education.

Section 1 sets out the scale of the problem and the process of permanent exclusion from mainstream education. A description of the evidence base of the characteristics of children and young people most likely to be permanently excluded from mainstream education follows, as well as the impact of exclusion on the pupils concerned. This section ends with a shift from exclusion to inclusion, with discussion of the school inclusion agenda, before presenting the key questions to take forward to the Surrey context from the research literature.

In Section 2 we present a review of evidence-based or best practice in supporting school inclusion and managing exclusions, with reference to a continuum model of best practice. Section 3 sets out the context and rationale for a focus on children and young people excluded from schools in Surrey, and presents the questions that we take forward in our research.

Section 4 presents an examination of the characteristics of children and young people in Surrey who were permanently excluded from school over a two year period, and support available to them around that time. We explore this from the unique perspective of linking education, social care, and youth justice data to understand the systems around the children and young people as well as the complexity of need with which they present. These analyses provide a context for the scope and nature of the issues of exclusion in Surrey. This is followed – in Section 5 - by key themes generated from a series of interviews with professional educational stakeholders, parents/caregivers, and young people excluded from school, focused on barriers and facilitators to best practice in managing permanent exclusions in Surrey. Some of the issues highlighted in Sections 4 and 5 and exemplified in the case study of ‘Alex’ presented in Section 6.

The report draws conclusions (Section 7) on the factors that put children and young people at risk of exclusion, and the actions, interventions and collaborations that support continued engagement in full-time education. The report makes recommendations for changes to policy and practice in Surrey that are most likely to reduce the numbers of children and young people missing out on full-time education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

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