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Addressing the issue of off-rolling at schools

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a blurred image of children playing in a playground wearing their school uniforms

Today our blog focuses on how we are committing to holding schools accountable for pupils they exclude, as well as addressing a report on school break times.


Today, Friday 10 May, Ofsted published a report which says that off-rolling is on the rise in schools, and that a quarter of teachers have witnessed the practice going on. This was covered by the Mail, the Guardian and the Independent, whilst the Schools Minister Nick Gibb was also interviewed about the report on the Today Programme.

We recently announced that we are consulting on plans for a register of children not in school, including those being home-educated. This register would provide a picture of where children are being educated outside of schools.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Edward Timpson’s review of exclusions practice, published just this week, highlights widespread good practice in the use of exclusions and confirms that only a small minority of schools ‘off-roll’ pupils. In response, we have committed to holding schools accountable for the pupils they exclude to prevent any falling through the cracks. We will continue working with Ofsted to define and tackle the practice, which remains illegal.

School Breaks

Today, University College London and the Nuffield Foundation published research they conducted into school break times. The report says that children now have less time for breaks throughout school than in the previous two decades. This was covered by the Independent, the Guardian, the Sun and the Telegraph.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

The government has given all schools the autonomy to make decisions about the structure and duration of their school day. However, we are clear that pupils should be given an appropriate break and we expect school leaders to make sure this happens.

We recognise the importance of physical activity in schools to improve both physical and mental wellbeing. That is why our Childhood Obesity strategy reflects the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines that primary age children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day.

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