The Scrutiny Manager introduced the item. The committee were invited to comment and following was noted:
1. While there was some support for following the lead of the Serious Youth Violence Commission which had the long term aim of completely eliminating exclusions, other members felt that to set to do so would be to pre-empt the findings of the review.
2. Members asked for examples of places where there had been significant reductions in the rate of exclusions, such as Glasgow.
3. Managed moves may be a way of avoiding permanent exclusion, but Members cautioned that from the point of view of a young child having to leave their school, the result was the same as being excluded.
4. The committee wished to examine the extent of and reasons for unofficial exclusions.
5. An additional line of enquiry should be added “what is the role of managed moves and what evidence is there of their success?”
6. Add new KLOE “what support is there for mental health and what evidence is there that this support is working?”
7. Make the last KLOE more explicit to read “What are Lewisham schools doing to reduce inequalities in school exclusions, in particular looking at ethnicity, gender, children eligible for Free School Meals.
8. The review should bear in mind various factors influencing the rate or exclusions, for example sometimes there can be a temporary increase in exclusions when a change of management take place.
9. The accuracy of the fixed period exclusion rate for special schools was questioned. In light of the disproportionately high figure, the committee requested that the impact of pupils with SEND also be added to the KLOE relating to disproportionality.
RESOLVED that the scope of the review be agreed subject to the Key Lines of Enquiry being amended to read as follows:
What does good practice look like in preventing and managing exclusions and how can this be successfully embedded and emulated?
Evidence from outside Lewisham
· What does successful early intervention look like? How early is early enough?
· What examples are there of innovative practice in behaviour management?
· What alternatives are there to exclusion and what evidence exists as to their effectiveness?
· What are the lowest excluding schools and local authorities doing to reduce their exclusion rate?
· Why are some groups more likely to be excluded than others and what can schools and the local authority do to address this?
Evidence from Lewisham
· What is the council’s role in respect of school exclusions?
· What is the practice in Lewisham schools in relation to behaviour management and early intervention? What evidence is there that these practices work?
· What support is there for mental health, and what evidence is there of that this support is working?
· What happens when a pupil is excluded – what process is followed, what right of appeal does the pupil/ parents have, what support is available?
· What can we learn from pupil and parent experiences of exclusion in Lewisham?
· What does best practice look like in engaging parents and pupils effectively in the exclusions process?
· What evidence is there of unofficial exclusions, including off-rolling, in Lewisham schools?
· What are the drivers behind the variation in the exclusion rates between schools with a similar intake?
· Why is the fixed term exclusion rate from Lewisham special schools high, and what is being done to reduce it?
· What is the role of managed moves and what evidence is there of their success?
· How are excluded pupils supported through reintegration, whether to the school they were excluded from, or a when starting a new school?
· How are excluded pupils supported to reduce their risk of further exclusions?
· What are Lewisham schools doing to reduce inequalities in school exclusion, in particular looking at:
o Those eligible for Free School Meals
o Children and young people with SEND.