How can we solve the challenge of reducing school exclusions?
School exclusions are a social justice issue. Systemic factors have created the perfect storm for rising exclusions and relationships are the solution. A renewed focus on trusting, reciprocal relationships, and greater multiagency collaboration between schools and local services is the answer, to make local education systems more inclusive and reduce preventable exclusions.
Our latest action research in education is a three-year project working with three localities across England - East Sussex, Oldham and Worcestershire - to facilitate greater multiagency collaboration to make local education systems more inclusive and reduce preventable exclusions.
The project builds on the findings of our (2020) Pinball Kids research, that showed how a renewed focus on trusting, reciprocal relationships between schools and local services can identify and respond early to pupils’ needs and help reduce exclusions.
We will work with a range of professionals and agencies to understand the local factors that drive or hinder multiagency collaboration. We will speak with pupils with lived experience of exclusions and their families to capture their perspectives. Engaging with practitioners and beneficiaries in this way will help us create detailed maps of local systems and their dynamics, that will inform an RSA-led process in which local stakeholders co-design improved approaches to collaboration. We’ll also be working with an independent evaluator to understand the contribution the RSA has made.
We hope that this action-research will provide useful, transferable insights on how to support multiagency collaboration to foster inclusion and reduce preventable exclusions.