HC Deb 23 April 1993 vol 223 cc221-3W
Mrs. Angela Knight

To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will give details of the final analysis of the information obtained over the two years of the national exclusions reporting system.

Mr. Forth

Analysis of the returns made to the Department under NERS over the two-year period 1990–92 shows that a total of 6,743 permanent exclusions were reported; there was an increase from 2,910 in year one to 3,833 in year two; exclusions in the primary phase accounted for 13 per cent. of the total in year one and 14 per cent. in year two; pupils with statements of special educational needs accounted for 12.5 per cent. of the total in year one and 15 per cent. in year two; many more boys than girls were excluded—a ratio of 4:1 in year one and 5:1 in year two; 15 was the peak age for exclusions for both boys and girls; Afro-Caribbean pupils appeared to be disproportionately represented within the excluded pupil population—8.1 per cent. of the overall total in year one and 8.5 per cent. in year two; aggression against other pupils and disobedience in various forms were the main reasons for pupils being excluded; decisions taken to exclude a pupil were not often over-turned. Over the two years, 170 decisions taken by heads to exclude pupil permanently were reversed by local education authorities and 160 by governors and 213 parental appeals were lodged, of which 37 were successful; information about the alternative educational provision made for excluded pupils was not always included in the returns. Such information as was made available shows that 45 per cent. of those permanently excluded were said to be receiving home tuition, 30 per cent. had secured a place in another mainstream school, 19 per cent. were in units, and 6 per cent. had gone to a special school or changed special school: there were often lengthy delays in completing exclusion procedures and in securing alternative educational provision for permanently excluded pupils, either by admission to another school or otherwise.