"Justice’s ‘Challenging School Exclusions’ report demonstrates the damaging consequences in the shortage of provision for children at risk of exclusion, particularly those with complex needs. It is not acceptable that disadvantaged pupils, children with SEND and those from minority backgrounds are being excluded, sometimes illegally.
1. Put education reform at the heart of the next Government
Education and improving the life chances of children in England is key to ensuring our social and economic success. Unfortunately, the successful free schools and academy reforms started by Labour and built on by the Conservatives have stagnated in recent years. The sector is lacking a direction of travel.
The education charity that supports the creation of free schools within communities where education standards are low, have set four priorities for the next government to adopt – putting education reform at the heart of the next Government; opening one hundred new schools every year; investing in the provision for pupils at risk of exclusion and gang violence; and finally, reforming the system to make provision for pupils with special education needs (SEN) fairer.
"We welcome this new fund from the London Mayor, to help support children struggling to thrive in mainstream schools and reduce exclusions.
"The report from the APPG on Knife Crime has shown us the shocking extent of the crisis in alternative provision (AP). It is not acceptable that one third of local authorities have no spaces in their state funded AP. We cannot allow a lack of provision to write off life chances and risk allowing vulnerable children to fall into gang violence.
"We welcome this report from the Education Select Committee, highlighting a serious shortfall in provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.
Provisional GCSE results released today show that free schools are once again the highest performing school type at Progress 8, with an average score of 0.21.
This is the third year running that free schools have topped the tables.
Number of schools
"We welcome the Education Policy Institute’s latest assessment of the free schools programme which highlights the programme’s great successes, as well as its shortcomings.
"The above average performance of disadvantaged pupils in secondary free schools proves the policy's potential to transform education and raise standards for those in the greatest need.
"We agree entirely that new free schools should be targeted towards areas suffering from chronic educational underperformance and communities that have been left behind and have been calling for this for some time.