Academic Year 2019/20

Permanent exclusions and suspensions in England

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  1. Correction to permanent exclusion rate for Gypsy Roma ethnic group 2019/20 from 0.24 to 0.23. This affects the commentary text only.

  2. Correction to 'Permanent exclusions and suspensions - by characteristic' file. Data for 4 schools was missing from this file for 2019/20 only. This affects Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole local authorities, South West regional figure and National totals in this file only.

This publication presents statistics on permanent exclusions and suspensions within the 2019/20 academic year across state-funded schools.

The publication includes data on:

  • reasons schools report for excluding and suspending pupils
  • permanent exclusions and suspensions by pupil characteristics
  • permanent exclusion independent review panels

The data has been collected in the school census. Data for earlier years is also included.

Covering the 2019/20 academic year, this year's data includes the start of the pandemic when, from 23 March, school sites were closed for all but those children of critical workers and vulnerable children, with others being educated remotely. Permanent exclusions and suspensions were possible throughout the full academic year but comparisons to previous years should be treated with caution.

Headline facts and figures - 2019/20

Headline fact and figures from the 2019/20 academic year

The figures presented cover the 2019/20 academic year. This year was interrupted by with the first national lockdown on 23 March 2020, during the spring term. Schools remained open for vulnerable children and children of key workers. 

While permanent exclusions and suspensions were still possible throughout the academic year, school closures have had a substantial effect on the number of permanent exclusions and suspension and therefore caution should be taken when comparing figures across years.

  • The rate of permanent exclusions has decreased from 0.10 in 2018/19 to 0.06. This is the equivalent of 6 in every 10,000 pupils.
  • At 5,100, there were almost 3,000 fewer permanent exclusions in 2019/20 than in 2018/19.
  • The rate of suspensions has decreased from 5.36 in 2017/19 to 3.76, a fall in numbers from 438,000 to 310,000. This is the equivalent of 376 in every 10,000 pupils.
  • Looking at Autumn term only: there were 3,200 permanent exclusions in 2019/20 (up 5% from 2018/19) and there were 178,400 suspensions (up 14%).
  • Persistent disruptive behaviour continues to be the most common reason for permanent exclusions and suspensions (both 34%).

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