MPs to question heads over provision for excluded pupils

Headteachers will join local government officials to give evidence to MPs about the state of alternative provision on Tuesday.

The parliamentary education committee is running an inquiry into the quality and availability of pupil referral units and other alternative provision used for excluded pupils in England.
The committee has held several hearings already. The first, with academics and researchers, heard in December that most schools are not in the “best position” to find alternative provision for their excluded pupils.

The second, with policy experts and practitioners in February, heard that increases in exclusions are being driven by “shaming” school behaviour policies backed by the Department for Education.

On Tuesday, MPs will hear from Claire George, the head of Peterborough’s pupil referral service, Ralph Holloway, transformation of SEN services manager at Essex county council and David Whitaker, a founding member of the Headteachers’ Roundtable.

The committee will also hear from Emma Bradshaw, head of The Limes College, Colin Jeffrey from the Prince’s Trust, Chaz Watson from SILC Training and Joanne Southby, the executive head at the London South East Academies Trust.

Robert Halfon (pictured), the chair of the committee, has taken a particular interest in alternative provision since he was elected last summer. Last month, he told Schools Week he wanted to see excluded pupils protected by a “bill of rights” that would allow proper scrutiny of their school’s decision to kick them out.