From September, Camden Learning became accountable for the management of the Inclusion team, with the collective responsibility of reducing exclusions and implementing the recommendations from the Timpson Report. What we have been focusing on is tracking the live data for exclusions in Camden and producing a weekly data dashboard, rather than waiting for the census data. Thus enabling us to report more regularly to heads, the LA and our members. This week, The Education Policy Institute (EPI) titled unexplained pupil exits from schools published a briefing: Further analysis and data by multi-academy trust and local authority. The finding that MATs are more likely to have higher levels of unexplained exits and permanent exclusions has hit the headlines, but EPI present a subtle policy analysis that considers a range of factors within a complex school system. Conclusions include (1) better monitoring and research of inclusion for children with protects characteristics, capturing managed moves, moves into home schooling and the use of offsite alternative provision; (2) greater transparency of managed moves; (3) policies and guidance that recognise the complex causes of behaviour difficulties.

The data set published, includes Camden data, which raises some questions, one of the issues for Camden is we promote a managed move approach to avoid exclusions. The Pilot Alternative Provision Programme for 14- I6 year olds also supports the managed move process. Managed moves can be positive, avoiding exclusion, avoiding lengthy periods out of school and thereby ensuring effective safeguarding of young people. The report acknowledges that a managed move can be a positive choice for the student and the family, however it also states that there is a lack of transparency around the system of managed moves and that it is open to coercion and may be in the interests of the school and not the child and therefore they have recorded these as ‘unexplained exits’. Therefore, perhaps a contributing factor to why we have a higher rate and could be something we need to examine further, particularly as this is an area that is challenged in Ofsted inspections under the new framework. Please find the referenced briefing attached.

On Thursday, the primary Chairs of Governors forum met for their termly topical discussion, where the focus was on learning from inspections from a governor’s perspective, which was led by the Chair of Governors, Deborah Isaac from Richard Cobden. Richard Cobden have recently been through the new framework and were successfully judged as outstanding, which is no mean feat with the new exacting framework-so congratulations to Kathy Bannon and her school community. The session was fascinating getting an insight from a governors’ perspective on the inspection, the expectations on governors and learning that could be practically shared.

Reminder that there is the Secondary Breakfast Briefing on Tuesday morning at 8am on the 10th floor 5PS, if heads cannot make it please do send along another member of SLT, they are more than welcome.

Jon Abbey

Managing Director, Camden Learning

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