We need to reverse the trend that has seen a rise in permanent exclusions in England since 2012/13. We know it affects the most vulnerable children in society and risks abandoning them, damaging their life prospects, and bringing them into contact with violence – either as victims of it or as perpetrators.
Reducing exclusions is vital but it is a long-term project. I am using all my influence to advocate for reducing school exclusions. The VRU is working with experts and existing networks to develop policy and practice while investing in an inclusive schools programme which is reaching 200 schools. This has had positive results elsewhere – most notably in Scotland.
But I have no direct power over education or schools in London. The VRU’s role is an influencing one, using evidence and insight to inform an evidence base to advocate for a systemic change approach on exclusions.