ROTA (May 2020) COVID-19 and the issue of informal exclusion from school

Concerns have been raised about how the children of less well off families will be faring and how they will be home schooled during the Corona lockdown, but not enough thought has been given to the race dimension. Little consideration is given to those children who had been ‘advised’ by schools to learn at home before the lockdown began – a way of informally excluding pupils.

The COVID-19 outbreak has served to highlight the failings of the education system towards young people informally excluded from school, who are disproportionately BAME. Children formally and informally excluded from school prior to COVID-19 are not getting the support available to other vulnerable children. In Government briefings on educational provision while schools are closed, these pupils are not among those officially recognised as vulnerable. Data collection on informally excluded pupils before the COVID-19 has been found wanting, but an absence of data does not mean that the young people themselves do not exist. ROTA’s recent report asks whether the COVID-19 lockdown can offer an opportunity for schools, AP providers and local authorities to review how informal exclusions can be monitored, so that these young people – referred to as ‘Others’ – can be better identified and supported, not just now but in the future.

Read the report HERE.