Commenting on the publication of the report from the Education Policy Institute, Unexplained pupil exits from schools: Further analysis and data by multi-academy trust and local authority, Leora Cruddas, Chief Executive of the Confederation of School Trusts said:
“It is very important that we distinguish between pupil moves that are not made in the interests of pupils and pupil moves into Alternative Provision. The Education Policy Institute is right to shine a light on the issue of better recording and regulation of pupil moves and the need for better regulation of Alternative Provision.
There is certainly some very high quality Alternative Provision in our system, but as Ofsted has recently shown, there is also some worrying provision that is unregistered and potentially unsafe. Children and young people have a right to high quality provision, wherever they are educated.
Although the data in the report may look concerning, it is important to note that moves to Alternative Provision are included in the ‘unexplained exits’ where they are not driven by a permanent exclusion.
Given that the larger School Trusts are more typically sponsor trusts, they face a greater level of challenge in terms of their intake than the maintained state school average, and some (the sponsor-led Trusts) a very much greater level of challenge. As the Sutton Trust Report (2018) finds, School Trusts also tend to have higher-than-average numbers of disadvantaged pupils – especially low-prior-attaining pupils. It may be therefore that these Trusts are making more use of Alternative Provision.
We should not jump to conclusions.”