More than a quarter of pupils at a Sheffield secondary school were given exclusions last year.
Figures from the Department for Education show 26.7% of students at Outwood Academy, in Stradbroke, were given at least one exclusion in the 2016/17 school year – nearly six times the national average of 4.5%.
Other schools in the city have shown high rates of exclusions – 11.5% at Springs Academy near Manor Top, for example – but Outwood stands out ahead of the rest.
The data shows a clear trend of academies, which are not under local authority control, giving out far more fixed exclusions than local authority maintained schools. Of the 10 most excluding schools in Sheffield that year, seven were academies, and just two were mainstream maintained schools.
Exclusions have been on the up for years, and it is very worrying indeed that Outwood have reached a situation of excluding six times more pupils than the national average.
Exclusion should be an option of last resort because we know how damaging it can be to those it affects. The clear majority of young people in detention were excluded from school, and it leaves young people much more vulnerable both to becoming victims of violent crime, and to committing it.
The rise of academisation and the rise in exclusions have occurred simultaneously and it’s clear that’s no coincidence.
Colleagues from across the country have told me of similar stories in schools run by the same chain as Outwood, and they have serious questions to answer about their exclusion policies.”