Annual survey of exclusions from Scottish Schools, 1998/99-2010/11
- Annual survey of exclusions from Scottish Schools, 1998/99-2010/11
- Principal investigator(s):
- The Scottish Government
- Data collector(s):
- Local authorities
Abstract copyright ADRN.
The Exclusions from Scottish Schools dataset collects information on pupils that are excluded from publicly funded primary, secondary and special needs schools. This survey data were first collected in 1998/99 at school level. From 2003/04 data were collected at individual pupil level to enable more in depth analysis of exclusions in Scottish schools. Since 2010/11 the data have been collected on a biennial basis. The information collected in the survey covers pupil details (such as their Scottish Candidate Number, gender and stage at school), incident type (for which there are over forty different possible reasons, categorised by teacher or pupil) motivation for incident (such as race or religion), whether the exclusion was permanent or temporary (includes time) and if the pupil received alternative education during the exclusion period.
In general, the Scottish Government collects a wide variety of educational data covering pupils, preschool children, teachers, schools, and free school meal eligibility. The main purpose of the data collection is for monitoring and policy making relating to pupil exclusions in Scottish schools. Survey data were captured at the end of a school year by local authorities and sent securely to ScotXed for validation and checking before it can be used statistical purposes by the Scottish Government. Each survey contains approximately 40,000 pupil records.
There are two types of exclusions that are recorded in the data. These are:
- Temporary (a pupil is excluded from a school but remains on the register of that school because they are expected to return when the exclusion period is completed);
- Removed from register (a pupil is excluded and their name removed from the school register. Such a pupil would then be educated at another school or via some other form of provision).
The Annual Survey of Exclusions from Scottish Schools covers all pupils in all local authority primary, secondary and special schools. As specified previously, the survey has been collected since 1998/99, and after 2010/11 the data have been collected on a biennial basis. The data for each academic year must be submitted by local authorities to ScotXed in September of each year. Data are then published by the Scottish Government in December of each year.
The following fields are collected at an individual pupil level:- pupil ID, postcode, school, gender, stage, status, date of birth, candidate number, whether removed from the register, length of exclusion, reason for exclusion, motivation, whether unsuccessfully appealed, looked after status and alternative education provision provided. Other fields are added by linking the data to the pupil census. The data cover the local authority and grant aided schools sectors.
More than one reason can be recorded for a pupil’s exclusion by a school. This means that the total number of reasons for a particular exclusion will probably be greater than the total number of exclusions. Also, a pupil could be excluded more than once in any given year and therefore care must be taken with the analysis and output of any research in this area. Local authorities may also reach agreements with parents to move a pupil to another school without the use of a formal ‘removal from register’ exclusion, but where the pupil is unlikely to have the option of staying in the school. Therefore care must be taken when interpreting the number of exclusions in any analysis.
The list of exclusion reasons was changed in 2002/03, 2003/04 and 2004/05. However there was a delay in implementation in some local authorities, leading to a large number of exclusions reported as “other”. This means that direct year-on-year comparisons are not always accurate. The lists of exclusion reasons are repeated for both pupils and staff. Finally, there are some concerns with the data quality of the Exclusions Survey. In particular, both the fields on exclusion appeals and motivation for an incident have been poorly recorded by local authorities. Further guidance regarding the quality of the data and some background notes are provided on the Scottish Government website.
Research Usage and Linkage
The Annual Survey of Exclusions from Scottish Schools has been used specifically to evidence and make policy about minimising exclusions across Scottish schools. Research has identified diversity amongst policy on exclusions, off site provision of education for those excluded and identifying reasons and trend for pupil exclusions.
The Annual survey of Exclusions from Scottish Schools contains the Scottish Candidate number (a unique number allocated to each pupil by the Scottish Qualifications Authority at Primary 1). In theory, this field will allow you to link to the other main Scottish Education datasets including the Pupil Census, Attendance and Absence survey, and also the Scottish Qualification Authority attainment datasets to allow for more meaningful analysis of exclusion by pupil characteristics.
From 2007, the Exclusions from Scottish Schools data have been included in the Scottish Longitudinal Study. Consideration is also being given to linking the Scottish Government Education data with health data using probabilistic matching techniques.
Coverage, universe, methodology
- Time period:
- From 1998/99 to 2010/11 ; Collected on a biennial basis thereafter
- Observation units:
- Kind of data:
Individual (micro) level
All pupils in all local authority primary, secondary and special schools since 1998/99. However, individual records are only available from 2003/04.
- Time dimensions:
Repeated cross-sectional study
- Sampling procedures:
No sampling (total universe)
- Number of units:
- Approximately 40,000 records per year
- Method of data collection:
The survey data are captured at the end of a school year by local authorities and sent securely to ScotXed for validation and checking.
- Frequency of release:
- Data Updated:
Administrative and access information
- Crown copyright
- Access conditions:
- Contact the Network
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By principal investigator(s):
- Scottish Government (2010) Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland No. 1.
- Scottish Government (2011) Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland No. 2.
- Scottish Government (2013) Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland No. 4.
Resulting from secondary analysis: