Recent Trends in Formal School Exclusions in Wales

Historically Wales has been regarded as a country with relatively low levels of school exclusion, particularly in comparison with England. This has been used as an indicator of Wales’ commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which foregrounds a rights-based agenda that would argue school exclusion is a consequence of broader socio-economic structures than individual actions. However, simple analyses may mask a different picture of school exclusions in Wales. In this article, we study more detailed information on formal school exclusions by looking at ‘instances’ of school exclusion, which considers the frequency and length of formal school exclusions in Wales, and alongside recorded school absence. The article also demonstrates that the pupils ‘at risk’ of formal school exclusion varies by when they experience school exclusion during their educational lifecourse. The article concludes by highlighting that patterns of school exclusion are complex, and that interpretation of these patterns depends on what kind of measure of school exclusion is used. By publishing these results, the article hopes to persuade policymakers and practitioners to re-examine their processes of exclusion to ensure they are commensurate with the law and to prevent unnecessary school exclusions.

  • Foteini Tseliou
  • Chris Taylor
  • Sally Power


British Journal of Educational Studies

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