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Adoption UK’S Schools & Exclusions Report

Summary of Results

Special Educational Needs:
• Nearly half of all adopted children represented in the survey have a recognised SEND/ASN
• 60% of the adopted children with SEND have an EHCP plan or equivalent compared to figures for England showing that just over 20% of all children with SEND have an EHCP, suggesting that adopted children have comparatively more high level support needs
• Children with an EHCP are six times more likely to receive a fixed term exclusion (DfE exclusions data 2015-16), and adopted children are over-represented in that cohort
• 45% of adopted children represented in the survey have social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH) as their primary area of need compared to 16% for all SEND pupils in England (DfE)
• Children with SEMH needs are 10 times more likely to receive a fixed period exclusion (DfE) and adopted children are over-represented in that cohort
• The profile of SEND for adopted children is significantly different to that of the SEND cohort generally

Exclusions:
• 23% of children had received a fixed period exclusion and 14.5% of these had been excluded more than ten times in their school career
• 4.7% of adopted children represented had been permanently excluded
• 23.5% - nearly a quarter - of children had been illegally informally excluded
• 29% of children had changed school as a result of their needs not being adequately met
• 12% of children had been home educated because their needs were not being met in school
• 12% of parents indicated that their child’s school had suggested to them that the only way to avoid permanent exclusion was to voluntarily remove their child (sometimes known as a managed move)

In 2015-16:
• 15% of adopted children represented had been illegally informally excluded, of which almost a third had been informally excluded five or more times in that year
• 12% of children had received a fixed period exclusion, of which 18% had been excluded on five or more occasions, and 10% had received an exclusion of six days or longer
• 55% of children who had been excluded received no learning support at all during the exclusion period
• 1.63% of children had been permanently excluded
• Of the children for whom exclusions were likely, 36% of parents felt that their school had not worked with them to avoid situations that might lead to an exclusion

National Comparisons:
• Higher levels of fixed period and informal exclusions for adopted children were recorded in Scotland than in the other nations, despite falling numbers of exclusions in Scotland as a whole
• Compared to national statistics from the DfE and devolved governments, adopted children are over-represented in exclusions statistics in all nations
Comparison to 2015-16 DfE data for England only:
• The children in our survey were permanently excluded at a rate just over 20 times that of the general pupil population
• The children in our survey were five times more likely to receive a fixed term exclusion than the general pupil population
• Adopted children are more likely to be excluded at younger ages. At Key Stage 1 (years R-2) an adopted child is 16 times more likely to receive a fixed period exclusion
• There is a peak of fixed period exclusions of adopted children during the first three years of secondary school – this does not follow the national trend.