Link: academy exclusions and referrals

A lengthy BBC report on accusations that academies are excluding pupils “unofficially” is worth reading through for insights into the school system and possible avenues of investigation that pre-date academies:

“Figures compiled by the Centre for Social Justice show that since 1997, the number of permanent exclusions from schools has halved, from more than 12,000 to under 6,000.

“Over the same period, the numbers educated off site in pupil referral units has almost doubled, leading to claims that such places are being used as dumping grounds for the less academically able.”

It’s also a good example of how to follow the people in a story, and tell it through them, as we first hear from referred pupil Chloe, and her mum, then another daughter-and-mother, and then the head of one of the schools taking in those referred pupils, and then a barrister taking up their cases. This human side of the story is interweaved with responses from the academies concerned, the DfE, and an expert (an educational consultant), before returning to Chloe and a quote that reinforces the human impact of what would otherwise be a story about paperwork:

“Basically I’m going to be thick all my life and not have anything,” she says.”

h/t Douglas Blane

About Paul Bradshaw

Founder of Help Me Investigate. I'm a visiting professor at City University London's School of Journalism, and run an MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University. I publish the Online Journalism Blog, and am the co-author of the Online Journalism Handbook and Magazine Editing (3rd edition). I have a particular interest in Freedom of Information and data journalism.
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