Nearly 50,000 children disappear from schools without explanation, study finds

Apr 18, 2019 by

‘Disturbing’ number of disappearances may be due to attempts to improve overall exam results

Nearly 50,000 children have disappeared from school rolls with no explanation, a major study from a think tank has found.

One in 12 pupils from the cohort that spanned year 7 to year 11 in 2016-17 were removed from secondary schools for unofficial reasons, research from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) suggests.

The study focuses only on removals likely to have been instigated by schools to improve their GCSE results or manage budgets, rather than family reasons.

There were 55,300 unexplained exits that were not accounted for by family decisions, involving 49,100 pupils – meaning some students left schools more than once. The numbers have risen in recent years, researchers say.

One in three pupils in the social care system, one in seven disadvantaged pupils and one in eight black pupils experience unexplained school moves, the report sponsored by the National Education Union (NEU) shows.

A small number of schools have particularly high rates of pupil exit, with just 6 per cent of secondary schools in England (330 schools) accounting for almost a quarter (23 per cent) of the unexplained moves.

Source: Nearly 50,000 children disappear from schools without explanation, study finds | The Independent

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