The All Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime has published a new report on the rising level of school exclusions in England. The report investigates what is driving the current rise in exclusions, whether there is a link between exclusions and knife crime, what can be done to prevent exclusion from mainstream education, and what happens to children after they are excluded. The report makes a number of recommendations, including more resources for schools to support children's needs, special council officials responsible for excluded children, and for results of excluded children to be taken into account when calculating school league table rankings.
In response to the report, Louise King, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Just for Kids Law, said:
"Every child has a right to education, and this report shows how important this right is. It highlights the risk we expose children to by excluding them from school, and the further harm exclusion does to our communities. Children who are excluded are some of the most vulnerable in our society often with special educational needs, in care or living in poverty. Not only do their academic prospects suffer as a result of exclusion, but it becomes far too easy for them to fall victim to criminal exploitation and be dragged into the strong current of crime. All too frequently we see children who we have previously assisted with an exclusion case return to us for help after getting in trouble with the law.
"We need to give schools the tools and resources they need to support our most vulnerable children so they can remain in school and have their right to education respected. We welcome the recommendations in this timely and important report, and urge the government to implement them as a matter of urgency."