Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, writes about the practice of off-rolling
“Off-rolling isn’t just about macho demonstrations of permanent exclusion to signal publicly that a school is under new management. It isn’t just about calling in the parents of the most disruptive students and “advising” them to apply to the school across town with surplus places to avoid having “permanent exclusion” imprinted on your child’s school record. Off-rolling can be even more repugnant.
Here’s an email from a special needs coordinator at a secondary school in the south of England.
I had a meeting today with some Year 6 parents. They have a child with complex needs, he receives high needs funding and is currently at Primary A. They were keen to tell me about how Secondary B told them that they would not be able to support their child, he would be isolated working in one room, they would not be able to protect him from six-foot students and he couldn’t do GCSEs so he would leave with nothing. The parents said to him that surely you cannot say no to a child with Send, but they were told that as long as Secondary C has a place somewhere, they don’t have to take him. This isn’t the first time a parent has told me that they were encouraged to go elsewhere.”