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 Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education 6:35 pm, 7th May 2019

The noble Countess, Lady Mar, is absolutely right. Last week, I visited Christ’s Hospital School in Sussex. I do not know if noble Lords are familiar with it, but it is a boarding school where about 70% of the pupils are in receipt of some sort of means-tested bursary. They spoke about a girl there who I will call Anna, who is 16 years old. She came from a very broken home and does not want to see her parents again. She is a potential Oxbridge candidate. She has nowhere to go in the holidays and, because of the complexity of safeguarding rules, she cannot stay with one of the teachers in the school, so she has to stay in a YMCA hostel. I felt that was very dispiriting. It gives a snapshot of just how complex the areas we are dealing with are. We are doing all we can to try to help; that is my main reason for being in this job. It is the children who are most disadvantaged who need our help the most.