(UK) Lincolnshire: YET ANOTHER county expelling disabled students

Aug 24, 2020, Lincolnshire Live: Major investigation reveals disturbing trend in Lincolnshire schools The most vulnerable kids in Lincolnshire continue to be ‘targeted’ by school exclusions – two years after a damning report on the “scandal” of these “forgotten children”. In 2018, a report from the House of Commons’ Education Committee found an increasing number of children were being unnecessarily excluded and abandoned with an inadequate education. The report highlighted that children who were already the most vulnerable - such as children with special educational needs (SEN) and those living in poverty - were the most likely to be excluded. Now, two years after these findings came to light, an investigation into the latest government figures reveal that the problem still very much persists in Lincolnshire ’s schools. In particular, our research found that within mainstream secondary schools in our area: Children with SEN are more than four times more likely to be expelled and three times more likely to be suspended than other children …. Boys are nearly three times as likely to be expelled and more than twice as likely to be suspended as girls Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, previously said the figures suggested some schools were “seeking to improve their overall exam results by removing some of their most vulnerable children from the school roll.” This is also known as “off-rolling” - a practice that the Government says is "unacceptable". However, teachers’ unions say it is government cuts in support services that are chiefly to blame…. in turn drive down exclusion figures." The Government say they are increasing high needs funding for local authorities by £780 million this year and a further £730 million next year, to help schools support children and young people with the most complex SEN. A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Our statutory guidance is clear that headteachers should, as far as possible, avoid permanently excluding any pupil with an education, health and care plan and take action to address the underlying causes of disruptive behaviour, including assessing whether the right measures are in place to support any special educational need or disability (SEND) a pupil may have…. In the 2018/19 academic year, 1,948 school children were excluded from Lincolnshire 's state funded secondary schools for a fixed period at least once - up from 1,883 the year before. A further 93 pupils were permanently excluded, which was up from 83 expulsions in 2017/18. Meanwhile, 18 children were expelled from Lincolnshire's state funded primary schools in 2018/19 - down from 22 the year before. A further 375 primary-aged kids were suspended at least once, up from 330 the year before and a record high….