Academic year 2016/17

Suspensions and permanent exclusions in England

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See all updates (2) for Academic year 2016/17
  1. Updated exclusion rates for Gypsy/Roma pupils, to include extended ethnicity categories within the headcount (Gypsy, Roma and other Gypsy/Roma).

  2. First published.

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Introduction

Read national statistical summaries, view charts and tables and download data files.

Find out how and why these statistics are collected and published - Permanent and fixed-period exclusion statistics: methodology

This release was created as example content during the platform’s Private Beta phase, whilst it provides access to real data, the below release should be used with some caution. To access the original release, please see Permanent and fixed-period exclusions in England: 2016 to 2017


Headline facts and figures - 2016/17

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About this release

The statistics and data cover permanent and fixed period exclusions and school-level exclusions during the 2016/17 academic year in the following state-funded school types as reported in the school census:

  • primary schools

  • secondary schools

  • special schools

They also include national-level information on permanent and fixed-period exclusions for pupil referral units.

All figures are based on unrounded data so constituent parts may not add up due to rounding.

Permanent exclusions

Most occurred in secondary schools which accounted for 83% of all permanent exclusions.

The permanent exclusion rate in secondary schools increased 0.20% - up from 0.17% in 2015/16 - which is equivalent to 20 pupils per 10,000.

The rate also rose in primary schools to 0.03% but decreased in special schools to 0.07% - down from 0.08% in 2015/16.

The rate generally followed a downward trend after 2006/07 - when it stood at 0.12%.

However, since 2012/13 it has been on the rise although rates are still lower now than in 2006/07.

The number of permanent exclusions has increased across all state-funded primary, secondary and special schools to 7,720 - up from 6,685 in 2015/16.

This works out to an average 40.6 permanent exclusions per day - up from 35.2 per day in 2015/16.

The permanent exclusion rate has also increased to 0.10% of pupils - up from 0.08% in 2015/16 - which is equivalent to around 10 pupils per 10,000.

Fixed-period exclusions

The number of fixed-period exclusions has increased across all state-funded primary, secondary and special schools to 381,865 - up from 339,360 in 2015/16.

This works out to around 2,010 fixed-period exclusions per day - up from 1,786 per day in 2015/16.

Primary schools

  • fixed-period exclusions numbers increased to 64,340 - up from 55,740 in 2015/16

  • fixed-period exclusions rate increased to 1.37% - up from 1.21% in 2015/16

Secondary schools

  • fixed-period exclusions numbers increased to 302,890 - up from 270,135 in 2015/16

  • fixed-period exclusions rate increased to 9.4% - up from 8.46% in 2015/16

Special schools

  • fixed-period exclusions numbers increased to 14,635 - up from 13,485 in 2015/16

  • fixed-period exclusions rate increased to 13.03% - up from 12.53% in 2015/16

Number and length of fixed-period exclusions

Pupils with one or more fixed-period exclusion definition

The number of pupils with one or more fixed-period exclusion has increased across state-funded primary, secondary and special schools to 183,475 (2.29% of pupils) up from 167,125 (2.11% of pupils) in 2015/16.

Of these kinds of pupils, 59.1% excluded on only 1 occasion while 1.5% received 10 or more fixed-period exclusions during the year.

The percentage of pupils who went on to receive a permanent exclusion was 3.5%.

The average length of fixed-period exclusion across schools decreased to 2.1 days - slightly shorter than in 2015/16.

The highest proportion of fixed-period exclusions (46.6%) lasted for only 1 day.

Only 2.0% of fixed-period exclusions lasted for longer than 1 week and longer fixed-period exclusions were more prevalent in secondary schools.

Reasons for exclusions

All reasons (except bullying and theft) saw an increase in permanent exclusions since 2015/16.

The following most common reasons saw the largest increases:

  • physical assault against a pupil

  • persistent disruptive behaviour

  • other reasons

Persistent disruptive behaviour

Remained the most common reason for permanent exclusions accounting for 2,755 (35.7%) of all permanent exclusions - which is equivalent to 3 permanent exclusions per 10,000 pupils.

However, in special schools the most common reason for exclusion was physical assault against an adult - accounting for 37.8% of all permanent exclusions and 28.1% of all fixed-period exclusions.

Persistent disruptive behaviour is also the most common reason for fixed-period exclusions accounting for 108,640 of all fixed-period exclusions - up from 27.7% in 2015/16. This is equivalent to around 135 fixed-period exclusions per 10,000 pupils.

All reasons saw an increase in fixed-period exclusions since 2015/16. Persistent disruptive behaviour and other reasons saw the largest increases.

Exclusions by pupil characteristics

There was a similar pattern to previous years where the following groups (where higher exclusion rates are expected) showed an increase in exclusions since 2015/16:

  • boys

  • national curriculum years 9 and 10

  • pupils with special educational needs (SEN)

  • pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals (FSM)

Age, national curriculum year group and gender

  • more than half of all permanent exclusions (57.2%) and fixed-period exclusions (52.6 %) occur in national curriculum year 9 or above

  • a quarter (25%) of all permanent exclusions were for pupils aged 14 - who also had the highest rates for fixed-period exclusion and pupils receiving one or more fixed-period exclusion

  • the permanent exclusion rate for boys (0.15%) was more than 3 times higher than for girls (0.04%)

  • the fixed-period exclusion rate for boys (6.91%) was almost 3 times higher than for girls (2.53%)

Pupils eligible for and claiming free school meals (FSM)

  • had a permanent exclusion rate of 0.28% and fixed period exclusion rate of 12.54% - around 4 times higher than those not eligible for FSM at 0.07% and 3.50% respectively

  • accounted for 40% of all permanent exclusions and 36.7% of all fixed-period exclusions

Special educational needs (SEN) pupils

  • accounted for around half of all permanent exclusions (46.7%) and fixed-period exclusions (44.9%)

  • had the highest permanent exclusion rate (0.35%0 - 6 times higher than the rate for pupils with no SEN (0.06%)

  • pupils with a statement of SEN or education, health and care (EHC) plan had the highest fixed-period exclusion rate at 15.93% - more than 5 times higher than pupils with no SEN (3.06%)

Ethnic group

  • pupils of Gypsy/Roma and Traveller of Irish Heritage ethnic groups had the highest rates of permanent and fixed-period exclusions - but as the population is relatively small these figures should be treated with some caution

  • pupils from a Black Caribbean background had a permanent exclusion rate nearly 3 times higher (0.28%) than the school population as a whole (0.10%)

  • pupils of Asian ethnic groups had the lowest permanent and fixed-period exclusion rates

Independent exclusion reviews

There were 560 reviews lodged with independent review panels in maintained primary, secondary and special schools and academies of which 525 (93.4%) were determined and 45 (8.0%) resulted in an offer of reinstatement.

Pupil referral units exclusions

Permanent exclusion

The permanent exclusion rate in pupil referral units decreased to 0.13 - down from 0.14% in 2015/16.

Permanent exclusions rates have remained fairly steady following an increase between 2013/14 and 2014/15.

Fixed-period exclusion

The fixed period exclusion rate has been steadily increasing since 2013/14.

The percentage of pupils in pupil referral units who 1 or more fixed-period exclusion increased to 59.17% - up from 58.15% in 2015/16.

Regional and local authority (LA) breakdown

There's considerable variation in the permanent exclusion and fixed-period exclusion rate at the LA level.

Permanent exclusion

Similar to 2015/16, the regions with the joint-highest rates across all school types were:

  • North West - 0.14%

  • North West - 0.14%

Similar to 2015/16, the regions with the lowest rates were:

  • South East - 0.06%

  • Yorkshire and the Humber - 0.07%

Fixed-period exclusion

Similar to 2015/16, the region with the highest rates across all school types was Yorkshire and the Humber at 7.22% while the lowest rate was in Outer London (3.49%).

Help and support

Methodology

Find out how and why we collect, process and publish these statistics.

Official statistics

These are Official Statistics and have been produced in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

This can be broadly interpreted to mean that these statistics are:

  • managed impartially and objectively in the public interest
  • meet identified user needs
  • produced according to sound methods
  • well explained and readily accessible

Find out more about the standards we follow to produce these statistics through our Standards for official statistics published by DfE guidance.

Our statistical practice is regulated by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR).

OSR sets the standards of trustworthiness, quality and value in the Code of Practice for Statistics that all producers of official statistics should adhere to.

You are welcome to contact us directly with any comments about how we meet these standards. Alternatively, you can contact OSR by emailing regulation@statistics.gov.uk or via the OSR website.

Contact us

If you have a specific enquiry about Suspensions and permanent exclusions in England statistics and data:

Attendance and exclusions statistics team

Email: schools.statistics@education.gov.uk
Contact name: Attendance and exclusions statistics team

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If you have a media enquiry:

Telephone: 020 7783 8300

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If you have a general enquiry about the Department for Education (DfE) or education:

Telephone: 037 0000 2288

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