School exclusions data in England only ‘the tip of the iceberg’

Sally Weakle:

Government figures for the number of children permanently excluded from school are “the tip of the iceberg”, with five times more children being educated in schools for excluded pupils than official data suggests, according to research.

National figures from the Department for Education show that 6,685 pupils were permanently excluded from schools in England in 2015-16 – the majority of them in the run-up to their GCSEs – marking a 40% increase over the past three years.

A study by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) thinktank claims these figures mask the true scale of the problem, with pupils forced out of mainstream schools by informal methods that are not captured in national exclusions data.