Exclusion and mental health difficulties: unravelling cause and effect and seeking answers in classroom practice
By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 26 February 2019
We are in an ‘exclusions’ crisis.With a rise in exclusions for three years running, we now have 40 children per day being permanently excluded across the UK.
There is a clear link between exclusions and subsequent mental health difficulties. Add the ‘high number of prisoners currently serving time in jail – 42 percent – hav(ing) formerly been permanently excluded ’we urgently need to understand the reasons behind excluding. The thinktank Poverty and Social Inclusion articulates the links between exclusions and subsequent mental health difficulties. Too often we are assuming that the reason for exclusions lies in prior pupil behaviours or pre-existing illnesses. Should we be instead considering that the cause and effect are the other way round? Could it be that exclusion has an impact on mental health, rather than that the mental illness came first? Perhaps it is the early experiences of excluding in school that reinforces social exclusion in later life?