Chapter 7: Exclusions
14,990 cases of exclusion in 2018/19, down from 18,381 in 2016/17
21.7 cases of exclusion per 1,000 pupils in 2018/19, down from 26.8 in 2016/17
In Scotland, the power exists to exclude children and young people from school where it is considered that to allow the child or young person to continue attendance at school would be seriously detrimental to order and discipline in the school or the educational wellbeing of the learners there. The Scottish Government published detailed guidance on managing school exclusions in June 2017 (see: https://www.gov.scot/publications/included-engaged-involved-part-2-positive-approach-preventing-managing-school/).
Information on exclusions was not collected in 2011/12, 2013/14, 2015/16 or 2017/18, as this data is collected only once every two years.
Table 7.1 below provides information on the number of cases of exclusion in recent academic years. Cases of exclusion refers to the number of incidences of exclusion, not the number of individual pupils excluded, as a pupil can be excluded multiple times. Both the cases of exclusion and the exclusion rate per 1,000 pupils have fallen in recent years.
Over 99% of all exclusions were for a fixed period of time, referred to here as temporary exclusions, and pupils are expected to return to their original school when the exclusion period is completed. In a small number of cases, three in 2018/19, an excluded pupil is 'removed from the register'. When this occurs a pupil does not return to their original school and will be educated at another school or in some other educational provision.
Table 7.1: Cases and rate of exclusion by type
|Removed from register||60||21||5||5||3|
|Exclusion rate per 1,000 pupils||40.0||32.8||27.2||26.8||21.6|
|Temporary exclusion rate||39.9||32.7||27.2||26.8||21.6|
|Removed from register rate||0.1||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0|
(1) The exclusions total figure and the removed from register figure for 2016/17 were updated in June 2018 to take into account four pupils removed from the register who were not included in the original analysis.
Table 7.2 shows cases of exclusion and exclusion rate per 1,000 pupils broken down by several characteristics of the pupils excluded.
The exclusion rate per 1,000 pupils was more than three times higher for male pupils (33.4 cases of exclusion) than female pupils (9.5 cases of exclusion).
Having an additional support need also increases the likelihood of exclusion. The rate of exclusion for pupils with an additional support need was 49.3 exclusions per 1,000 pupils in 2018/19, almost five times the rate for pupils without an additional support need (10.4 exclusions per 1,000 pupils).
Living in an area with relatively more deprivation was also associated with a higher exclusion rate. Rates of exclusions per 1,000 pupils were more than four times greater for pupils living in the 20% of areas associated with most deprivation, compared with pupils living in the 20% associated with least deprivation, as defined by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2016.
However, this association has lessened since 2016/17 when the rate of exclusion per 1,000 pupils was more than five times higher for pupils living in the 20% of areas associated with most deprivation, compared with pupils living in the 20% associated with least deprivation. This was due to there being a greater reduction in the cases of exclusions for pupils living in the most deprived areas (7,436 to 5,562) than there was for pupils living in the least deprived areas (1,226 to 1,126).
Table 7.2: Cases and rate of exclusion by characteristic
|Cases of exclusions(2)||Rate per 1,000 pupils|
|Additional support needs(1)|
|Pupils with additional support needs||9,818||49.3|
|Pupils with no additional support needs||5,109||10.4|
|Lowest 20% of SIMD (Most deprived)||5,562||35.4|
|Highest 20% of SIMD (Least deprived)||1,126||8.2|
(1) Exclusions of pupils that were not matched to the pupil census have not been included. See the background notes for more information.
(2) SIMD data not available for 81 cases of exclusion, including those pertaining to pupils not matched to the pupil census. Please see the background notes for more information.