The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) calls for a new programme to help prevent exclusion and improve the provision for young people who are excluded, following their findings that these provisions are insufficient, and leading to social and economic costs for all.
Excluded children are more likely to consist of looked after children, children raised in poverty, and those with special educational needs, or who have mental health problems. This often leads to social exclusion as they are more likely to experience severe mental health problems, and be unemployed or even imprisoned in later life. It is both a social and an economic problem, costing £2.1 billion in education, health, benefits, and criminal justice costs per cohort of excluded pupils.
Many excluded children have complex needs, combining a number of individual and environmental issues which affect their learning ability. School leaders need workforce development to manage these needs, with half saying they cannot recognise mental illness and even more saying they do not know how to refer to external services where this is needed. This leads to more exclusion, and more pupils ending up receiving alternative provision.
Alternative provision teachers are more likely to be unqualified or supply teachers meaning they unable to continue adequate educational support. In local authorities where there are the highest exclusion levels, Ofsted have found that for some 100% of excluded pupils are in settings graded ‘Inadequate’. The IPPR wants to tackle this by recruiting exceptional and expert teachers to lead alternative provision schools where they can break the link between school exclusion and social exclusion. To do this they argue preventative support also needs improvement, as well as developing evidence of what strategies work help to improve the lives of excluded young people.
“This focus on alternative provision is long overdue and credit must go to Kiran and Danny for championing this agenda. It is widely recognised that these vulnerable young people are often responsible for numerous societal challenges as adults so it’s in all of our interests to find ways of preventing the intergenerational cycle of exclusion.
Project HE:RO has been shown to reduce fixed term exclusions at school and local authority levels and we are confident about the impact it can have within pupil referral units and the wider alternative provision system.”
– John Bishop, Evolve Managing Director
To read the full report, click here.