Today, Friday 25 October, the All-Party Parliamentary Group published their ‘Back to School?’ report, which looks at links between school exclusions and violent crime. The report was covered by BBC, the Guardian, the Mirror, the I, the Express and the Sun.
The issues surrounding knife crime and poor behaviour in schools are complicated and multi-faceted, and simple causal links between exclusions and crime should not be drawn. The Education Secretary is also clear that reforming alternative provision (AP) is one of his key priorities and we are taking a range of actions to drive up quality in those settings, including building on the best practice that the Secretary of State has seen in a number of recent visits to schools like Everton Free School. To help do this we recently launched a £4 million AP Innovation Fund which is delivering projects to improve outcomes for children in AP.
In addition, we also recently announced a £10 million investment to establish behaviour hubs, so that schools with a track record for effectively managing behaviour can share what works.
Knife crime and serious violence are complicated issues, which is why we are working with the education sector, the Home Office and other Government departments as part of a comprehensive multi-agency response.
A Government spokesperson said:
The Government has been clear that it will always back teachers and headteachers in delivering discipline in the classroom. The issues surrounding knife crime and poor behaviour in schools are complicated and multi-faceted. Simple causal links between exclusions and crime cannot be drawn.
We are clear that permanent exclusion should only be used as a last resort and exclusion from school must not mean exclusion from education. Furthermore, we must be just as ambitious for young people in alternative provision as we are for those in mainstream schools, and we are taking a range of actions to drive up the quality of those settings.