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(UK) Suffolk schools accused of "off-rolling" SPED students; kids kept home to keep school scores up

June 15, 2019, Suffolk Free Press: Suffolk schools monitored over deliberate efforts to push poorly-performing children towards home education https://www.suffolkfreepress.co.uk/news/suffolk-schools-monitored-over-efforts-to-push-poorly-performing-pupils-towards-home-education-9073578/ Education chiefs have warned that schools in Suffolk deliberately encouraging poorly-performing pupils to quit school for home education are being monitored. It emerged that more than 800 youngsters were being taught at home in Suffolk, after data was published by Suffolk County Council earlier this month – including eight instances in one year where pupils were ‘off-rolled’. Off-rolling is where schools encourage parents to take their child out of school and have them educated at home, so that the child does not bring down the school’s overall results…. “We have identified schools from which there are high numbers of EHE [elective home education] and details of those schools with above average numbers have been shared with relevant officers, who will continue to monitor this. “As per government guidance, we will also consider informing Ofsted of schools where off-rolling appears to be happening on a significant scale, so that this can be addressed at the school’s next inspection.”… Concerns had been raised that the number of home educated pupils was disproportionately affecting children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), who were unable to access the correct support because of demand in the service. Labour education spokesman Jack Abbott said: “More parents haven’t suddenly decided to home school out of personal choice, it’s because they’ve been left with no other option. “Overwhelmingly, this is impacting children with SEND – regular exclusions, part-time timetabling and inflexible attendance expectations are forcing parents into making impossible decisions…. “Those in power at Suffolk County Council have been warned time and time again about what is happening, but little has changed – families don’t need platitudes and excuses, they need action.”