The Centre for Social Justice has published “Providing the Alternative: How to transform school exclusion and the support that exists beyond”, a report sponsored by Catch22 that makes clear how and why certain young people are not receiving the educational support they deserve.
The report highlights that:
- over 140,000 exclusions take place a year among pupils on free school meals and over 175,000 exclusions a year among special educational needs students,
- in four years, permanent exclusion has increased by 67 per cent, and
- nine in 10 schools (88 per cent) get a grade premium from movements in and out of their schools.
All schools make a difference but Alternative Provision schools are the difference between someone being the author of their own life story, or a victim of their circumstances. We cannot allow them to be one more thing letting down the very young people who are counting on them to provide the safety, trust, boundaries, and aspirations they haven’t found anywhere else.
Our teachers are more than educators, though imparting knowledge through a rigorous curriculum is a vital part of their role. They help their students flourish emotionally and socially, set ambitious goals and achieve them. Alternative provision schools and the teachers within them need to work with others to do this: colleagues in social services, employers, volunteers. Only by unlocking the capacity of the communities they’re in, will alternative provision schools make the difference we need.
Thank you to our education staff for providing your experience, feedback, and opinions to make this report as impactful as it is.