Adoption UK is dismayed at further evidence of the misuse of exclusions to manage England’s most vulnerable children.

Our evidence suggests that adopted children are 20 times more likely to be excluded than their peers. Formal exclusion is likely to be the tip of the iceberg – there is plenty of evidence that off-rolling and informal exclusion are widely-used. For those who do need alternative provision, their schooling must be of the highest quality, not a dumping ground.

Adoption UK would like to raise particular concerns around the exclusion of children with SEND. Recent Department for Education figures show that approximately 50% of children excluded from school have SEND. Adopted children are over-represented in this group with Adoption UK research from last year revealing that nearly half of adopted children have a recognised SEND.

Adoption UK chief executive, Dr Sue Armstrong Brown said: “The Government’s priority must be helping the children who’ve had the most unfair start in life to have an equal chance at school. The high numbers of vulnerable children being excluded shows that there’s a very long way to go.”

Adoption UK recently launched its Equal Chance Campaign in which the charity is calling on UK governments to rethink the way we are educating out most vulnerable children and to address in shortfall in vital support needed in schools.