The county council is working to reduce the number of children who are expelled from Bucks schools – after exclusion rates increased by 100 per cent in recent years.

A five-year education plan was presented to Bucks County Council’s (BCC) cabinet on Monday (July 9) and identified a range of challenges faced by schools.

Issues included “persistent” underperformance of disadvantaged pupils, the number of ‘inadequate’ schools in the county exceeding the national average and the rising rate of permanent exclusions.

A separate draft report was presented to BCC’s children’s select committee today (July 10) outlining actions and plans to reduce the number of permanent exclusion rates in schools.

The report states exclusions across primary and secondary schools increased by 100% on the previous academic year in 2015/16, with another increase of 6% in 2016/7.

A number of actions have already been taken to prevent exclusions, including running workshops for senior education staff on how to deal with disruptive behaviour in the classroom.

The report also recommended that locally-based networks of head teachers should be created in various areas of the county so they can discuss issues surrounding exclusions.

Writing in the report, committee chair Dev Dhillon, said: “Permanent exclusion from school is a traumatic and distressing experience for children, their families, and dedicated professionals working with them.

“It affects life changes in the most fundamental ways; children have worse long-term outcomes than their peers, are more likely to develop mental health issues and to become involved in the criminal justice system.

“During our inquiry we have been impressed with work that is already being done in schools and the council to avoid permanent exclusions.”

Figures taken from 2015/16 show that 116 young people were permanently excluded from schools in Bucks – a total of 13 girls and 103 boys.

However speaking at a cabinet meeting on Monday, BCC’s director of education, Tolis Vouyioukas, said the figures have actually declined since they were last published in 2015/16.

He said: “It would be very difficult for us to have an up to date view because the latest figures have not been published yet.

"I believe we compare favourably to our south east partners.

“However one thing I can say with some degree of confidence is that exclusions in Bucks are taken very seriously by our schools and head teacher colleagues, and it is always the last resort.

“In my view, with a very good plan in place to make sure they return back into mainstream education where it is appropriate and right for the pupil.”

To view the children’s select committee report visit