Robert Halfon quizzes minister over link between school exclusion and prison.

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon rose on the floor of the House of Commons to quiz a minister over the link between school exclusion and prison.

He said: What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on breaking the link between school exclusion and prison.

Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice said:

“My right hon. Friend is right to highlight this issue: 23% of those given short custodial sentences were previously excluded from school. I have not personally met the Secretary of State for Education to this discuss this matter, but I have corresponded with the Minister with responsibility for schools on exactly this issue. I regularly meet the Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Education about linked issues, and my officials and I are engaged with the Department for Education on its exclusions review.

Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee

Thank you, Mr Speaker. An increasing number of pupils are being excluded from our schools, and 60% of our prisoners were excluded when in our education system. What action is the Ministry of Justice taking to work with the Department for Education to provide serious support to those who have experienced exclusion and are at risk of offending?

Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

As I briefly mentioned, my officials and I have already engaged with the Department for Education’s exclusions review, submitting an analysis by the Ministry of Justice on the correlation between offenders and exclusions. Key to tackling this issue is joined-up working across government and agencies. I heard about this issue on a recent visit to Hackney youth offending team. I will continue to work closely with Ministers and other Departments to develop measures to support the exclusions review when it reports.

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