Agenda item

Inquiry into Exclusions, Elective Home Education and Off-rolling - Statement of Progress

To receive a report from the Head of Democratic Services which presents a Statement of Progress relating to the scrutiny Inquiry into Exclusions, Elective Home Education and Off-rolling.


The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report relating to the scrutiny Inquiry into Exclusions, Elective Home Education (EHE) and Off-rolling.  Appended to this report was a Statement of Progress document which summarised the progress made in relation to the Board’s Inquiry work, including a brief overview of the preliminary findings stemming from the evidence to-date and highlighting key considerations to help inform the next steps of the Scrutiny Board’s work.


The following were in attendance:


-  Sal Tariq, Director of Children and Families

-  Shaheen Myers, Deputy Director of Learning

-  Val Waite, Head of Service Learning Inclusion


In consideration of the Statement, the following issues were raised:


Ø  Other independent review work around EHE - the Board acknowledged that other independent review work featuring Elective Home Education had also been undertaken by the Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership and through the recent Ofsted inspection of children’s services in Leeds, both of which had complemented the inquiry work already undertaken by Scrutiny.

Ø  Consideration of forthcoming legislative changes – it was noted that forthcoming legislative changes, particularly in relation to the Schools Bill, the Children Not In School government response and SEND green paper proposals, would have significant implications that would warrant more detailed and timely consideration by the Scrutiny Board.

Ø  Work with Leeds Trinity University – the Board was informed of a piece of national research involving work being undertaken with Leeds Trinity University around learners that may be in a vulnerable context and looking at the level of provision available in ensuring they are not missing out from an appropriate education offer.  Such work will involve looking at particular cohorts and also profiling data across schools which will involve looking at EHE rates, the number of permanent and fixed term exclusions, and EHCP figures that would help to prompt any further investigatory work with those schools and to offer any support.

Ø  Tackling off-rolling – the Board discussed existing mechanisms in place that aim to potentially identify and tackle the practice of off-rolling, including a more rigorous approach adopted as part of the Ofsted inspection framework, the role of Governors in monitoring their own school exclusion patterns; opportunities to raise issues as part of regular monthly meetings held between the Council and Ofsted; as well as the opportunity to explore potential indicators as part of the research work being undertaken with Leeds Trinity University.

Ø  Behavioural policies – in terms of issues already reflected within the Statement document around behavioural policies, it was noted that a revised Behaviour in Schools Guidance and Suspension and Permanent Exclusion Guidance was expected to be published shortly and put in place for the school year 2022/23.


In conclusion, the Chair acknowledged that further work was still warranted by the Scrutiny Board, particularly in terms of understanding the implications of relevant forthcoming legislative changes, and that the timeliness of undertaking such further work be considered as the Board develops its future work schedule.


RESOLVED – That the report and Statement of Progress document be noted and that consideration be given to the timeliness of further work being undertaken by the Board as it develops its future work schedule.


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