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(UK) Suffolk schools: Permanent exclusions double; half are special needs students

July 3, 2020, Bury Free Press (Northwest England): SUFFOLK: School exclusions double in one year https://www.buryfreepress.co.uk/news/school-exclusions-double-9115145/ An urgent investigation has been launched after new figures revealed the numbers of Suffolk school pupils permanently excluded doubled this year. The revelation emerged in a meeting of the Suffolk Schools’ Forum on June 18, with subsequent data revealing that for the first two terms of this academic year there had been 114 permanent exclusions, compared to 56 for the same period last year. Of those 114, 53 children had special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) or an education health and care plan (EHCP) outlining additional measures needed for their learning…. Council bosses said the figures were for the period prior to Covid-19, but pledged a “The doubling of numbers however does not just relate to pupils with SEND, it is across the pupil cohort. “While this is a higher proportion than last year it is still below the national average, but this is clearly no reason for complacency…. Bec Jasper from Parents and Carers Together, an organisation which helps support Suffolk families around SEND, EHCPs and mental health, said: “The doubling in numbers shows there are still fundamental problems within the system which are not being addressed.” Families PACT works with have reported issues around measures in EHCPs not being met, annual reviews not happening on time, and in some cases struggles in getting an assessment for special educational needs at all…. “Repeated failure to act has led to dozens of children and young people being permanently excluded, with severe educational and social consequences….