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BAME Students: Pupil Referral Units - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:48 pm on 23rd March 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education 2:48 pm, 23rd March 2020

I am grateful to the noble Baroness for raising a number of issues there. If I may begin with the current policy, yes, AP is included within the request to schools, so that, if at all possible, head teachers should keep that provision open. We believe that about half of the pupils within AP will qualify under the definition of “vulnerable” but we trust that the head teachers will make the correct decisions on the ground. It is of course correct that education is one of the strongest protective factors for young people, and it is this Government’s ambition that there should be an expansion of alternative provision and that being excluded from mainstream education settings should not be an exclusion from excellent education. We have the same aspirations for those in the AP sector as we do in other educational settings.