Differences in Rates of School Exclusions in the Four Jurisdictions of the UK

20th January 2020 : 17:00 - 18:30

Category: Public Seminar

Speaker: Harry Daniels, Ian Thompson and Alice Tawell, Department of Education, University of Oxford

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Room A

Convener: Harry Daniels

Convener: Ian Thompson

This seminar is part of our public seminar series on ‘Exclusion from School and its Consequences’, led by the Department of Education and convened by Harry Daniels (Professor of Education) and Ian Thompson (Associate Professor of English Education & Director of PGCE).


About the Public Seminar Series


The University of Oxford Department of Education’s Public Seminar Series are held on a termly basis throughout the academic year and are designed to engage wider audiences in topical research areas from across the department. Seminars are free to attend and held on most Mondays during term from 5pm. Each seminar is convened by a member of the department and speakers include academics from across the department, the wider University, as well as internationally recognised professionals from across the globe.

All public seminars led by the department are free to attend and open to all.

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Seminar abstract


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.


About the speakers


Harry Daniels is Professor of Education at the Department of Education. His current research interests are in school design and exclusion from school. He is interested in sociocultural and activity theory and Bernsteinian theory.

Ian Thompson is an Associate Professor of English Education at the Department of Education and Director of the PGCE course. He is joint convenor of the Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT) and a Fellow of St. Hugh’s College. He is also a member of the university’s English Faculty. Ian is currently co-PI on the £2.55 million ESRC funded project Excluded Lives: the Political Economies of School Exclusion and their Consequences.

Alice Tawell is an ESRC funded DPhil Student, co-supervised across the Department of Education and Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford. Alice’s research focuses broadly on the enactment of school exclusion policy in England.