criminal justice
primary & secondary education
voluntary sector

School Exclusions and Raising Standards of Alternative Education Provision

criminal justice

primary & secondary education

voluntary sector

08:45 - 16:30

Thursday 13 February 2020

Central London

This Forum provides attendees with the opportunity to examine the government’s latest plans to reduce the number of schools exclusions and ensuring that the right students are placed in alternative provision and that they receive a high quality education. Delegates and leading policymakers will consider how to facilitate transition out of alternative provision and how to ensure that alternative provision is recognised as an integral part of the education system. Participants will also explore best practice case studies from inclusive mainstream schools and outstanding alternative education providers that enable children of all backgrounds to maximise their potential.

The event will also include an opportunity for all delegates to offer views and provide feedback to the Department for Education as part of the Headteacher Standards Review.


This Forum is specifically designed for Mainstream Secondary Schools, Special Schools and Alternative School Providers including:

  • Head Teachers
  • Deputy Head Teachers
  • Principals
  • Vice Principals
  • SENCOs
  • Directors of Pupil Premium
  • Inclusion Managers
  • Education Improvement Advisors
  • Virtual School Heads
  • Senior School Improvement Officers
  • Regional Directors
  • Senior Education Advisors
  • Learning Support Manager
  • Qualifications Assessment Officers

This Forum is also open to Local Government, the Voluntary and Private Sector, in order to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Senior Representative, Behaviour, Attendance, Exclusions and Alternative Provision Division (BAEA), Social Care, Mobility and Disadvantage, Department for Education
  • Dr Ian Thompson, Associate Professor of English Education and PGCE Course Director, Department of Education, University of Oxford and Joint Principal Investigator, Excluded Lives: The Political Economies of School Exclusions and Their Consequences
  • Kiran Gill, Founder, The Difference and Author, Making the Difference Report, IPPR
  • Charlie Taylor, Chair, Youth Justice Board for England and Wales
  • Philippa Stobbs, Assistant Director, Council for Disabled Children
  • Ruth Browne, Director of Early Intervention, TBAP Multi Academy Trust 
  • Laura Partridge, Associate Director, Creative Learning and Education, RSA
View the agenda and additional speakers

Schools exclusion rates have risen for the first time since 2009 with more than a quarter of these taking place just prior to GCSEs. Pupils receiving support for SEND are 7 times more likely to be excluded than those who are not. A March 2018 Education Select Committee report referred to the exclusion rate as ‘a scandal’ resulting from a ‘zero tolerance approach’ to minor infractions such as uniforms and haircut policy.

This combined with the fact that only 1% of GCSE candidates in alternative provision leave with the grades needed to progress within the education system calls into question the efficacy of our education system.

To tackle this problem, in May 2019 the results of the independent Timpson Review of School Exclusion were published, as commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE). The Review outlined the issues faced across the sector, by stakeholders in schools and local authorities, as well as by voluntary sector partners. Seeking to improve the approach to exclusions and ensure that exclusion from school does not mean exclusion from education, the Review also highlights evidence from pupils and parents, offering a better understanding of why exclusions happen and when.

Outlining 30 recommendations for the government, the Review considers how funding can be better used to support pupils at risk of exclusion, improve the quality of education provided for those who are excluded, and how to effectively bring excluded pupils back into mainstream education. The DfE has agreed to all 30 recommendations in principle, and are currently working on plans to successfully implement these.

Alongside these efforts, a £4m Alternative Provision (AP) Innovation Fund has been made available for 2018-20 to help return students from AP to mainstream schools. This will be followed by the development of a bespoke alternative provision performance framework clarifying the roles of schools, alternative providers and local authorities in delivering high quality alternative provision.

Most recently, in October 2019, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Knife Crime has urged the government to investigate the capacity and quality of education in the alternative provision sector, given the concerning correlation between excluded pupils and those involved in crime or gangs.

If these worrying trends are to be reversed and the marginalisation of children in need is to be halted, then AP providers, mainstream schools, local authorities and the voluntary sector must work together to secure an excellent education for all children no matter what their background.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Cathy Street, Co-Author, School Exclusion: A Literature Review on the Continued Disproportionate Exclusion of Certain Children, commissioned by Department of Education (DfE) (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Programme of Action on Exclusions and Alternative Provision

  • Discuss the Government ambitious programme of action on exclusions and alternative provision to enable schools to support children at risk of exclusion, and ensure that excluded children continue to receive a good education.
  • The objectives and findings of the Timpson Review of School Exclusion published May 2019 – Assessing disparities in exclusion rates and how to address these
  • The re-write of guidance to offer clearer, more consistent guidance on managing behaviour, the use of in-school units and using exclusion.
  • Off-rolling and supporting schools to intervene early for children at risk of exclusion and further improve the quality of alternative provision
  • Outlining the progress thus far of the £4m Alternative Provision (AP) Innovation Fund in improving the process for returning pupils to mainstream schools, and developing best practice guidance

Senior Representative, Behaviour, Attendance, Exclusions and Alternative Provision Division (BAEA), Social Care, Mobility and Disadvantage, Department for Education (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Working In Partnership to Tackle the Causes of Unnecessary Exclusions

  • Promoting close collaboration between teachers, parents, social workers and students to help support ‘persistently disruptive students’
  • Enhancing diagnostic capacity through cross-sector working to maximise collective expertise
  • Fostering strong relationships between schools to secure high quality and tailored alternative provision for those students who need it
  • Building understanding between mainstream schools and alternative providers: Enabling easy transition out of alternative provision

Philippa Stobbs, Assistant Director, Council for Disabled Children (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Taking a Whole-School Approach to Inclusion

  • Taking a three-tiered, whole-school approach to leading learning, wellbeing and safeguarding
  • Building an inclusion framework that unites behaviour, special education needs and pastoral teams in a formalised line management structure that standardises team-wide training and objectives
  • Working with external organisations to taker preventative action on specific issues which is delivered to whole year group to enhance understanding across the board
  • Building relationships with key local authority agencies, enabling improved referrals and support for vulnerable children

Shaun Brown, Deputy Head (Inclusion), Thomas Tallis School (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Special Keynote: Practices of Exclusion in Cultures of ‘Inclusive’ Schooling in the United Kingdom

This session will outline and share updates around the £2.55 million research project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, which aims to develop a multi-disciplinary understanding of the consequences of school exclusion, including the costs for individuals and institutions, as well as considering the rights and entitlements of pupils.

Dr Ian Thompson, Associate Professor of English Education and PGCE Course Director, Department of Education, University of Oxford and Joint Principal Investigator, Excluded Lives: The Political Economies of School Exclusions and Their Consequences (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Investing in a Wider Curriculum and Outdoor Activities to Embed a Culture of Inclusion

  • Demonstrating innovative deployment of pupil premium funding as recognised by an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating
  • Understanding how the Pupil Premium can be a force for good in creating an inclusive learning and school environment by providing a range of settings in which all students can flourish and be engaged
  • Ensuring that staff are appropriately trained so as to identify, assess and support vulnerable children both emotionally and socially in a way that allows students to fulfill their potential
  • Shaping a curriculum and learning environment inside and outside the classroom that is designed to engage students in a variety of ways including a broad spectrum of outdoor activities such as a mud kitchen where children put language to sensory experience, using words like ‘slippery’, ‘squishy’ and ‘rough’

Rachel Beckett, Headteacher, Sandon Primary Academy (invited)


Case Study: Adopting Cost-Effective International Solutions For Re- Engaging Excluded Children

  • Hosting the REAL Alternatives Hub in partnership with the GLA to support more than 200 vulnerable children in mainstream schools and AP with blended and individualised evidence-based initiatives
  • Identifying and connecting AP schools and a wider network of professionals across London who are passionate about re-engaging young people in education
  • Co-designing, developing and scaling new teaching and learning practice to expand the impact of good practice to vulnerable children across the South East
  • Collaborating with other schools beyond normal networks to create new leadership opportunities and develop innovation capability

Ruth Browne, Director of Early Intervention, TBAP Multi Academy Trust (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: The Youth Justice Perspective

Charlie Taylor, Chair, Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Upskilling The Teaching Workforce To Reduce Exclusion Rates

  • Exploring the findings of the IPPR 2017 Making the Difference report including the need for improved commissioning and oversight of AP for excluded pupils
  • Tackling the rising trend of children with complex needs where mental ill health, unstable or unsafe family environments and learning needs combine by upskilling the school workforce
  • Increasing the number and quality of teachers to teach excluded children: Recruiting exceptional early career teachers with leadership experience
  • Making the financial case for addressing the issue of rising exclusions

Kiran Gill, Founder, The Difference and Author, Making the Difference Report, IPPR (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Improving the Quality of Alternative Provision and Increasing Inclusion

  • Exploring barriers to delivering quality education in pupil referral units (PRUs) and alternative provision (AP) schools: staffing levels and qualifications, funding, levels of need
  • Examples of best practice in PRUs and AP schools delivering quality primary and secondary education
  • Highlighting the importance of best alternative provision practice interacting with and influencing mainstream schools
  • Examples of best practice in inclusion in mainstream primary and secondary schools

Laura Partridge, Associate Director, Creative Learning and Education, RSA (CONFIRMED)

Laura is also an experienced governor of three PRUs in London


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Interactive Discussion Session: Review of the National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers

Research indicates the strong link between school leadership, quality of teaching and outcomes for pupils. Consequently, the government is committed to ensuring the quality of leadership is as high as possible. To help establish a clear understanding of what good school leadership looks like, the department produced the National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers in January 2015.

The publication included a commitment to review the Standards after a maximum of five years, and, to this end, an independent expert review panel has been meeting since earlier this year.

The draft text has been produced by the Headteacher Standards expert review group following a research exercise and engagement with key stakeholders.

The Department for Education group is keen to hear your views on how we can ensure the standards underpin best practice for all headteachers.

Senior Representative, Department for Education (CONFIRMED)


Chair's Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change

You May Also Like