This article draws on ﬁndings from the ﬁrst cross-national study of school exclusions in the four jurisdictions of the UK.
It sketches factors associated with the past research with reductions in exclusions. It then reports interview data gathered in England in 2018 from ﬁve specialist oﬃcers working in two Local Authorities and a senior oﬃcer working for a national voluntary organisation. The oﬃcers describe good practice but also national, local and school level developments contributing to a deteriorating situation.
These developments include unhelpful govern-ment guidance and regulations; school accountability frameworks aﬀect-ing curriculum and leading to the neglect of Special Educational Needs; loss of Local Authority powers and funding resulting in reductions in support services.
Data gathered for this study in other UK jurisdictions suggests that in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and to a lesser extent in Wales, a practice that avoids school exclusions has persisted more than in England.