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Ensuring that exclusions are not the end of education

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Today’s blog looks at the publication of the Timpson Review on exclusions, as well as more from Friday’s NAHT conference and a look at a new apprenticeship scheme from fashion designer Ralph and Russo.

Timpson Review

Today, Tuesday 7 May, we have published the external led review of exclusions by Edward Timpson. In this review, the former Children and Families Minister makes 30 recommendations on the use of exclusions by schools. This was covered by BBC Online, the Guardian, the Independent, I News, the Telegraph, the Times, the Mirror and the Metro.

Analysis shows 85% of all mainstream schools did not expel a single child in 2016/17, but 0.2% of schools expelled more than ten pupils in the same year.

One of the key recommendations made in the report is on ensuring that a school still has accountability for pupils after they are excluded.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

Every child deserves an education that fosters ambition and provides the knowledge and skills they need to make the most of their potential. That must include children at risk of exclusion or those that have been expelled.

This pivotal review demonstrates widespread good practice in support for students and in the use of exclusions, and I will continue to back headteachers in creating safe and orderly environments that enable teachers to teach and provide the right learning conditions for pupils – and sometimes exclusion will be the final option.

Exclusion should not be considered the end point for any child; it has to be the start of something new and positive – with alternative provision offering smaller class sizes and tailored support.

We also need to support those most at risk of exclusion, taking action before exclusion happens. Too many children can fall through the cracks, so I want schools to be accountable for the pupils they exclude, alongside tackling the practice of illegal off-rolling. This is not an easy answer, but it is one that will help the most vulnerable children in our society to fulfil their potential.

NAHT Conference

On Friday 3 May, the National Association of Headteachers hosted a conference in Telford. The Education Secretary delivered a speech at the conference where he spoke about the importance of high needs provision and funding.

Another key issue to come out of the conference was teachers suffering violence from pupils and parents or carers.

As a department we support schools and staff with a range of guidance and advice on health and safety as well as security – we are clear that no teachers should have to face violence, or a fear or violence in the workplace or anywhere else.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

As the Secretary of State said in his speech to the NAHT conference, teachers should not be subjected to abuse simply for doing their jobs and he is 100% behind making sure the entire school workforce can go about their business free from fear or intimidation

Schools have a duty and a responsibility to protect pupils and staff. The Government supports them with a range of guidance to help them fulfil their responsibilities, including advice on health and safety, school security and targeted advice on gangs and youth violence. Just this week we announced more detail about our new behaviour support networks, which will help schools tackle the low level bad-behaviour that disrupts classrooms and causes teachers significant stress.

Ralph and Russo Apprenticeship

Today, Tuesday 7 May, Vogue Business published a piece on designer Ralph & Russo’s new couture apprenticeship.

The article looks at how UK fashion brands have found it hard to recruit artisanal talent and how this new apprenticeship scheme from the fashion house will help couture brands protect their highly skilled and artisanal processes for future generations.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:

For the fashion industry to be able to grow their own skills, getting young people as young as 16 and 18 coming into the businesses is a fantastic opportunity.

Without a doubt, there is a pool of talent out there you don’t know exists yet - start with an apprenticeship scheme and you will find it.

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