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Friday, 02 November 2018 20:14

Exclusions Kent and Medway 2017-18

 Kent permanent exclusions have fallen by a remarkable 40% from last year to 49 pupils permanently excluded in 2017-18, in sharp contrast to nationally rising rates. No Kent school has more than five permanent exclusions. In 2011-12 there were an astonishing 210 Kent pupils permanently excluded more than any other Local Authority in the country, whereas now it is one of the very lowest. 

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For 2016-17, even before this fall, Kent had the lowest rate of permanent exclusions in the South East. Kent fixed term exclusions have risen slightly to 10,698, an astonishing 11% or 1211 pupils of which are from one school, the secondary department of Folkestone Academy the rate of exclusion having shot up since 2016-17. Next comes Oasis Isle of Sheppey Academy with 786 exclusions. In 2016-17, the last year for which I have national comparisons, Kent fell below the national average for fixed term exclusions for the first time. 

For Medway, one sixth of the size of Kent, the 2017-18 provisional number of permanently excluded pupil, is 58 (there may be additional exclusions to record),  down from the previous year’s final figure of 65. Five of Medway’s 18 secondary schools have more than five permanent exclusions, headed up by Brompton Academy with 11. I don’t yet have the Medway data for Fixed Term Exclusions.

 Both Kent and Medway had shown a fall in the number of families ‘choosing’ Elective Home Education in recent years, sometimes seen as a route for schools to avoid Permanent Exclusion. However, numbers have risen in both Authorities for 2018 as explained in a further article to follow. .

The rules applying to the official release of information such as that quoted in this article forbid release of exact numbers less than five in any category. This is to avoid possible identification of individuals. 

The following table of national rates of exclusion shows Kent consistently below, and recently well below National percentages for Permanent Exclusions, with Medway consistently above and recently well above the same (2017-18 data not available yet). It was only in 2016-17 that Kent fell below the national figure for Fixed Term exclusions, with Medway consistently above. 

Secondary Exclusion Rates 2009-2018
Exclusions as % of School Population 
Fixed Term
  National Kent Medway National Kent Medway
2009-10 0.15 0.14 3 children* 8.59 10.57 9.96
2010-11 0.13 0.14 0.11 8.40 12.04 11.94
2011-12 0.14 0.15 0.12 7.85 10.76 9.20
2012-13 0.12 0.09 0.18 6.75 9.02 9.59
0.31 6.62 9.63 9.40
2014-15 0.15 0.06 0.29 7.51 9.17 10.21
2015-16 0.17 0.05 0.42 8.46 8.71 12.34
2016-17 0.20 0.04 0.32 9.40 7.91 11.47
* Recorded as zero percentage. 
Kent Permanent Exclusions
Given the restriction on releasing low figures, and with the very low number of exclusions for 2017-18, it is difficult to identify much detail except to record that this is the lowest number of permanent exclusions in Kent, for any year since I started keeping records in 2009-10. I began campaigning about the high numbers, proportionally amongst the worst in the country, after the figure rose to 210 in 2011-12. I then published another article focusing on the situation  triggering considerable media attention, especially in the campaigning newspaper Kent on Sunday. Paul Carter, Leader of KCC, became involved and then pressure was brought to bear to reduce numbers, with KCC officers working hard with academies in particular to bring numbers down. This has been successful to the extent that for 2016-17 the secondary school permanent exclusion rate was lowest in the South East and tenth lowest in the country. In the primary sector, Kent was amongst a cluster of schools with an exclusion rate of 0.00 to 0.01. 

The exclusion rate amongst children in Special Schools or with a Statement of SEN or now the Education Health Care Plan has also fallen from the early unacceptable high levels, although I have not requested SEN figures for some years.

Kent Permanent Exclusions 2009-2018


Primary Secondary Special
2009-10 209 34 168 7 23
2010-11 199 25 161 13 21
2011-12 210 46 157 7 41
2012-13 143 30 103 10 n/a
2013-14 87 25 60 2 25
2014-15 109 43 64 2 8
2015-16 66 16 50 0 n/a
2016-17 68 19 49 0 n/a
2017-18 41 16 25 0 n/a

 The n/a entries are where I have not requested the specific data at the time.  

Medway Permanent Exclusions
As the table below shows, ten years ago there were just three permanent exclusions across Medway rising to what was surely an unacceptably high 81 in 2015-16, although this has also started to fall. It has been well above the national average for the past five years. Sadly Medway appears to have little interest or ability in working with schools to reduce these numbers. As a result, eleven of Medway’s 18 secondary schools had five or more permanent exclusions, headed up by Brompton Academy with 11.
Medway Permanent Exclusions 2009-2018


Primary Secondary Special
2009-10 3 n/a n/a n/a n/a
2010-11 11 n/a n/a n/a n/a
2011-12 22 n/a n/a n/a n/a
2012-13 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
2013-14 71 9 62 0 less than 5
2014-15 59 n/a n/a 0 less than 5
2015-16 81 3 78 0 n/a
2016-17 63 n/a
n/a n/a n/a
2017-18 58 n/a n/a 0 n/a
Kent Fixed Term Exclusions
I have not collected fixed term exclusion data previously, but this set certainly throws up some interestingly findings, described below. It is striking that five of the six highest excluding schools for 2016-17 recur in the 2017-18 table, suggesting that exclusion leading to high levels is a policy rather than a one off. 
Kent Fixed Term Exclusions
(high figures) 2017-18
 % of
School Roll
 Non Selective  
 Folkestone Academy
Oasis Academy
Isle of Sheppey
John Wallis CofE
 566 58% 
 New Line Learning
 203  36%
Astor College  232  31%
Charles Dickens
Hartsdown 184 28%
Canterbury Academy  218  20%
Cornwallis Academy  205  19%
Gravesend  66  8%
Wilmington Boys  41  6%
Lawn  54  29%
Martello  32  25%
Richmond Academy  73  22%
Edenbridge 50 15%
Newlands 47 13%
Knockhall  45 10%
Temple Grove 63 10%

Kent Fixed Term Exclusions
(high figures) 2016-17
 % of
School Roll
 Non Selective
New Line Learning Academy 572 85%
John Wallis Academy 977 46%
Hartsdown Academy 778 40%
Astor College 800 34%
Folkestone Academy 1360 33%
Oasis Academy
Isle of Sheppey
1343 27%

2016-17 is the first time in the past ten years that Kent’s fixed term exclusion rate has fallen below the Nation Average, although it is difficult to find any particular driver for this. The most striking statistic fro 2017-18 is the Turner Schools outcome with Folkestone Academy and Martello Primary both at the top of their respective tables, in spite of the claim that 'Teacher capacity and skill is the best antidote there is to exclusion of students', hardly an endorsement of the teacher quality and management of the two schools.

The percentage figures do not give the full picture behind the data as they are derived by simply comparing the total number of exclusions with number of pupils in the relevant age group according to the January 2018 school census. It does not for instance take into account either the number of times a pupil has been excluded, nor the length of exclusions, both of which are provided on a county wide basis in government statistics.

There are various reasons for a school using a high number of fixed term exclusions, so this may not necessarily indicate poor management. However, several of the schools below have featured before in these pages, the context suggesting the cause.

Non-Selective Schools
You will find a full article on the Folkestone Academy and Martello Primary outcomes here. The philosophy of Turner Schools as spelled out in its extensive documentation and PR exercises should indicate a diametrically opposite outcome to the one delivered here.

Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey has featured regularly in this website because of its appalling treatment of pupils, most recently here, which will have contributed to its dreadful GCSE performance. Surprisingly, a recent Ofsted Monitoring Inspection did not notice the very high rate of exclusion or other issues regularly reported by parents. It may be that the HMI should have spent more than one day looking at the school. I would certainly like to know his view on the practice of placing some pupils who have been excluded for a period into the abusive Reflection system as a punishment for being excluded! For details of how Reflection works, please consult the articles I have written. By depriving pupils of any education whilst they are required to reflect on their 'sins' in effective isolation for a day amounts to unlawful exclusion. Surely the HMI should have noticed this. 

Of the other schools, both New Line Learning and Cornwallis Academies have been struggling badly and as a result have recently been re-brokered to another academy chain, as explained here. Astor College has limped along for years, having been warned two years ago for poor performance, but has hardly improved its standards since. Charles Dickens has been in Special Measures for some years but has recently been taken on as a sponsored academy by Barton Court Grammar. John Wallis Academy is otherwise a successful academy looking at relevant factors, but being in the top three for both years is surely a statistic that should worry the school and its governors.

The figure for Gravesend Grammar is worryingly high for a selective school, but the school has recently changed headteacher, which may see a new policy.
A common feature of Knockhall, Martello and Richmond Academy is that all were run by the disgraced Lilac Sky Academy Trust and re-brokered in January 2017 to new Trusts. Reports indicate that Knockhall is still struggling, Martello is described above, and Richmond Academy was the lowest performing primary school in Kent for 2016-17.

Edenbridge Primary crashed into Special Measures last year, following appalling management, described by me as being out of control in a previous article. It has now been taken over as a Sponsored Academy by a Bromley Trust.Temple Grove has limped along for years, being the least popular and worst performing school in Tunbridge Wells.  




Last modified on Friday, 18 January 2019 16:21

1 comment

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 06 November 2018 00:09 posted by Cheryl

    What a whitewash by OFSTED at Oasis Sheppey. Children are placed in Reflection for trivial reasons, such as being detained by another teacher and then being late for a lesson. On the day of the Inspection, surprise, surprise there were no children in Reflection

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