Debates in education over the past year have been dominated by allegations of ‘off-rolling’ in schools – the practice of informally removing pupils in order to improve GCSE results, or for other reasons.
While official school exclusions are recorded, very little has been known about unofficial pupil removals from school rolls – which are largely unregulated and unrecorded.
With the publication of our recent report, Unexplained pupil exits from schools, for the first time, we are now able to see the full scale of this problem.
Our study finds a high prevalence of unexplained moves from school rolls: as many as 1 in 12 pupils (8 per cent) from the year group that finished year 11 in 2017 were removed from school rolls for reasons that are not accounted for by family decisions.
This means that over 5 years, from 2012 to 2017, there were a total of 55,000 unexplained pupil exits in schools – a figure that has grown from previous years.
The research also identifies the vulnerable pupil groups most likely to experience these moves around the school system, along with the schools with particularly high rates.
In the latest year group in our study, we found that these moves were highly concentrated: just 330 schools (a mere 6 per cent of schools) account for almost a quarter of the total number of unexplained pupil exits in the school system.
You can read all of the key findings from the report here.
In the summer, we will publish a second report, with figures showing the scale of this issue by school group, to allow for greater scrutiny over pupil mobility in the school system. Before then, we’re seeking feedback on the methodology used in this first paper. You can find details on this below.
PUBLISHED THIS WEEK: New report on post-18 education funding options
In February 2018, Theresa May launched a review into the post-18 education system, led by Philip Augar. An interim report was expected in Autumn 2018, but has not been published.
The review is the first to examine post-18 education funding in almost a decade, and as well as considering tuition fees, it also looks at funding for wider post-18 qualifications and further education. On Thursday, six months on from the expected release of the review’s findings, EPI will publish a new report examining the evidence on the various policy options for the government.
The paper will scrutinise policy proposals on tuition fees, student support, and non-HE funding – setting out the evidence for each policy option, and how the government should proceed.
Look out for the report on 2nd May – it will be published here.
Upcoming EPI research also includes a report on the state of 16-19 education funding, and analysis of school spending patterns.
Be sure to follow EPI on Twitter for further updates.