This seminar reports on the ongoing work of the multi-disciplinary and multi-site Excluded Lives Group whose work has led to the ESRC funds project The Political Economies of School Exclusion and their Consequences.
There are great differences in the rates of permanent school exclusion in different parts of the UK with numbers rising rapidly in England but remaining relatively low or falling in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. For example, in the last available figures there were 7,900 permanent exclusions in England in 2017/18 compared to just three in Scotland in 2018/19. However, these figures do not account for many informal and illegal forms of exclusion. This seminar will report on the ongoing work of the multi-disciplinary (criminology, disability studies, economics, education, human geography, law, psychiatry, sociology) and multi-site (Oxford, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, LSE) Excluded Lives group established in 2014. This work has led to the ESRC funded project The Political Economies of School Exclusion and their Consequences (PolESE). In this research, home international comparisons of historical and current policy, practice and legal frameworks relating to school exclusion will be conducted for the first time. Previous research and official statistics show that school exclusions are far more likely to affect pupils with special needs, from low income families, and particular ethnic backgrounds. Exclusions have long and short-term consequences in terms of academic achievement, well-being, mental health, and future economic and employment prospects. PolESE is designed to highlight ways in which fairer and more productive outcomes can be achieved for pupils, their families, and professionals by comparing the ways in which policy and practice around exclusions differ in the four jurisdictions.