Posted: 2nd August 2017
Author: Kieran Brockerton-baker

Department of Education Exclusion Figures Released for 2015/2016 – A situation which CAN be avoided!

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Recent figures released by the Department for Education for 2015/2016 show that pupils with special education needs (SEN) accounted for more than half of all exclusions, fixed term and permanent!

The report tells us that:

  • Pupils with identified special educational needs (SEN) accounted for almost half of all permanent exclusions and fixed period exclusions
  • Pupils with SEN support had the highest permanent exclusion rate and were almost 7 times more likely to receive a permanent exclusion than pupils with no SEN
  • Pupils with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan or with a statement of SEN had the highest fixed period exclusion rate and were almost 6 times more likely to receive a fixed period exclusion than pupils with no SEN

This report and figures can be seen at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/permanent-and-fixed-period-exclusions-in-england-2015-to-2016

The Independent Parental Special Education Service (IPSEA) have argued that too many children who have SEN are excluded from school illegally for reasons such as not receiving proper notification that it is an exclusion.

You can read what IPSEA have to say on this matter on their website at:

https://www.ipsea.org.uk/news/2017/exclusion-figures-shoe-schools-are-failing-pupils-with-sen

It is disappointing that, from these figures, children with SEN appear to be treated differently from their peers.

We at the Children’s Legal Practice do not think that this should be the case. In some cases children with SEN may simply be in the wrong environment and unfortunately not all schools are able to meet the needs of their pupils who have SEN.

If a child has SEN and an up to date, appropriate Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) (formerly known as a Statement of Educational Needs) and is placed in an appropriate school that is able to meet that child’s needs then unlawful or unnecessary exclusions could be prevented.

Every child has the right to education and this is something we at the Children’s Legal Practice strongly believe in.

If your child has SEN and you are not sure whether their current school is meeting their needs please feel free to contact our education team who will be more than happy to help.