School Exclusion: Timpson Review - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:24 pm on 7th May 2019.

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Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education 6:24 pm, 7th May 2019

I will respond to the noble Lords, Lord Bassam and Lord Storey. On permanent exclusions, last year 85% of schools had none at all, so it is important to put the issue in some perspective. But we are not complacent in any way—that is why we commissioned Timpson last year to undertake his review.

That flows into the issue of off-rolling, which greatly concerned both noble Lords. The term has crept into usage only in the past two or three years, and when we initially commissioned Edward Timpson to undertake his review it was not in common usage, but he has expanded the report to deal with it. It is important to reassure noble Lords that off-rolling is an unlawful practice, so it is not something that a school can do legitimately. We are focusing on this partly through the changes to the Ofsted inspection framework, for example, which will come in in September, which will ramp up the inspection process to ensure that such things are not going on. Ofsted will look at children who have left the school roll and interrogate the school as to why they have left and where they are.