Last week, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) published a report addressing growing concerns about the number of pupils being taken off school rolls without formal exclusion. An increasingly prevalent practice that has gained media attention in recent years, ‘off-rolling’, as it is also known, is an informal pupil exit that ultimately benefits the school’s interests over those of the pupil concerned.
Spanning across ten years, EPI’s study focuses on three different cohorts of students between year seven and year 11 and delves into the profile of pupils with unexplained exits. Many affected pupil groups were vulnerable learners with one in three having contact with the social care system and one in seven being classed as disadvantaged pupils. The report also notes that almost a quarter of all unexplained exits were contained within just 330 schools.
Further details on where in the education system unexplained pupil exits occur most prominently will be delivered in a second report due in summer 2019. The document will also disclose the local authorities and MATs in which this practice is particularly high.
Good governance can only be achieved with ethics being at the heart of the decision governing boards are making.