Review to demand excluded pupils count in schools’ results – Friday 15 February 2019

This week I report on the review of exclusions expected to be published before Easter which would require excluded pupils to count in school’s results and the DfE has announced it’s expectation that schools fund a 2% cost of living teacher pay rise in 2019/20.

Timpson review to demand excluded pupils count in schools’ results
A landmark review of exclusions will demand the Government revives plans to make schools retain responsibility for the results of pupils they exclude. According to leaked documents seen by Schools Week the Timpson review will call for a “significant shift” for schools, alternative provision settings and councils, demanding that ministers “remove the potential” for Headteachers to game the system by “permanently excluding children at the most crucial time in their education”.

Edward Timpson, a former children’s minister who was commissioned to look into the practices around exclusions last year, was supposed to publish his report by the end of December. It was later widened to look at the illegal off-rolling of pupils, with ministers promising it will be published before Easter.

In extracts of the draft, seen by Schools Week, Timpson said the Department for Education should make heads “continue to be responsible for children who have been permanently excluded, including for commissioning high-quality and safe alternative provision where this is needed and remaining accountable for the educational outcomes of this”.  In practice, that means the performance of excluded pupils would count towards the school’s league table position.

Publication of evidence to support the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) consideration of the 2019 pay award
The Secretary of State wrote to the STRB on 21 November, asking for their recommendations on the September 2019 teachers pay award. The letter stressed the importance of focusing on how the pay award can best address recruitment and retention challenges, while taking account of affordability across the school system.

The DfE has now published evidence to support the STRB’s consideration of the 2019 pay award and concluded that a pay increase for teachers of 2% (in line with forecast inflation) is affordable within the overall funding available to schools for 2019 to 2020, without placing further pressure on school budgets. This is supported by the Government’s proposals to fund increases in teachers’ pension contributions from September 2019.