School Exclusion: Timpson Review - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:35 pm on 7th May 2019.

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Photo of Lord Judd Lord Judd Labour 6:35 pm, 7th May 2019

My Lords, the encouraging news of this review is long overdue. For nine years, I was privileged to be president of YMCA England. What I discovered and learned in those years was the complexity of the problems facing young people who were vulnerable and in difficulty. When I talked with some of those in young offender institutions, their lives were such a nightmare that it was not surprising that they were in such institutions. It is wise that the Government intend to keep the terms of reference for this inquiry as wide as possible because one has to look at the complexities of the situation, including the social context of the community in which the school exists.

One also has to look at the whole issue of the systems we use to monitor education—league tables, and so on. There are too many examples of ill-informed heads putting children out because they might affect the place that the school secures in a league table. All these issues must be looked at if the review is to be of use. One of the most important things we need to look at, and I hope the review will do so, is the context of society as a whole. What are the values that young people see operating in society and how does this help them to re-establish themselves as positive members of society, who contribute to it?