Preventing school exclusions: collaborations for change - RSA report - RSA

Preventing school exclusions: collaborations for change


  • Picture of Mehak Tejani
    Mehak Tejani
    Former RSA Education Systems Lead
  • Picture of Benny Souto
    Former Collaboration and Change Designer
  • Picture of Aidan Daly
    Aidan Daly
    Former RSA Researcher
  • Education and learning
  • Health and wellbeing

School exclusion can change the course of a young person’s life. It can have long-term implications for their health, wellbeing, and future opportunities.

We know exclusions affect some groups more than others, such as those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), from certain minority ethnic backgrounds, and those growing up in poverty.

The focus of this project has been on strengthening relationships between multi-agency partners to support headteachers to prevent exclusions, building on recommendations made in our Pinball Kids report three years ago. The Pinball Kids report found that relationships were necessary at all levels of the education system to prevent exclusions, especially between schools and:

  • Pupils - where every pupil has a trusted member of staff at school.
  • Families - where they are partners in their children’s education.
  • Services - where a multi-agency approach enables early identification and timely response to needs.

pdf 5.9 MB

In September 2021, the RSA embarked on a three-year journey alongside three English local authorities to restore the third level of relationships, between schools and services, to improve joint preventative work. Our focus here builds on existing evidence and sector-wide interest in joined-up, multi-agency responses, and stems from a belief that stronger relationships at the multi-agency level can lead to benefits at the first two levels, which we show through the interventions that have emerged from this work.

This interim report details our progress in working with teams in East Sussex, Oldham, and Worcestershire.

Download your copy of the interim report to read:

  1. An outline of the national and local context and a discuss about how we came to work with each local authority.
  2. Insights from the research phase and outline of pilot activities currently being undertaken in each locality.
  3. Year-one findings from the project’s external evaluation.

Download the Preventing school exclusions interim report (PDF, 5.9 MB)

Join our national learning cohort

Related work on preventing school exclusions