Zero-tolerance behaviour policies exclude more vulnerable children, MPs told

Increases in exclusions are being driven by “shaming” school behaviour policies backed by the Department for Education, experts have warned MPs.

Jane Pickthall, chair of the National Association of Virtual School Heads, which oversees children in care policy at local authorities, told the parliamentary education committee that humiliating classroom control techniques made schools “less inclusive” for children in care and those with mental health needs, while another witness claimed zero-tolerance policies may be unlawful because they discriminate against SEND pupils.

The committee is in the middle of an inquiry into the quality of alternative provision and rising exclusion levels, prompted by concerns about the lack of oversight in the sector and malpractice in mainstream schools.

During this morning’s session, Pickthall said some of the most popular behaviour policies were damaging for pupils most at risk of exclusion.

Read the full article on Schools Week.

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