Pupil Exclusions

Department for Education written question – answered on 1st March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Laming Lord Laming Chair, Accommodation Steering Group Committee, Chair, Services Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the age of the youngest child to be excluded from school in England.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Good behaviour in schools is essential to ensure that all pupils can benefit from the opportunities provided by education. We trust headteachers to set and enforce good standards of behaviour in schools. No headteacher takes excluding a child lightly, and any exclusion is based on evidence of that child’s behaviour.

The youngest children with permanent exclusions from state-funded primary, state-funded secondary and special schools in England were aged 4 in 2016/17.

As part of their approach, all schools are required by law to have a behaviour policy which outlines measures to encourage good behaviour and prevent all forms of bullying amongst pupils. The policy should set out the behaviour expected of pupils; the sanctions that will be imposed for misbehaviour; and rewards for good behaviour. This should be communicated to all pupils, school staff and parents. There are no rules about the age at which pupils can be excluded. The department supports a headteacher’s use of exclusion where it is warranted, regardless of the age of the pupil.

Data used to derive published exclusion statistics are collected via the school census and covers those settings in scope of the statutory guidance on exclusions. Data does not cover independent schools, sixth form colleges or further education colleges, all of which have separate exclusion procedures.

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