Church of England schools urged not to expel pupils amid rise in

Church of England schools have been urged not to expel pupils, as it recognises the link between permanent exclusions and a rise in youth violence.Following a debate at the General Synod in York, the Church said on Saturday morning that it plans to be “proactive” and explore alternative arrangements for children who may ordinarily be removed from mainstream education. The C of E, which is the second largest provider of state education in the country, was also asked to formally monitor and report on exclusions to minimise their ubiquity.It comes amid wider concerns from Ministers at the Department for Education and Ofsted inspectors, who are increasingly worried that some teachers simply use exclusion to “off-roll” students who might push a school further down the league tables.Over the past three years, permanent exclusions from all schools have has risen by 40 per cent.A motion responding to serious youth violence across the country called on members of the General Synod to understand how the issue affects the whole community, including primary and secondary schools.On Saturday morning, the Reverend Canon Rosemarie Mallett, the priest of Angell Town in Brixton encouraged the use of pastoral care in schools instead. “We want schools to take action. Research in Southwark last year looked through at how schools minimise the use of exclusions by other means,” she said“Using forms of internal areas in school children previously excluded are able to access alternative strategies and care from a school’s support mentor.”John Sentamu, the Archbishop York argued that children benefit from mentoring in specially set up support units outside of their schools. He said: “It’s not just about recognising, but asking headteachers, parents, government and local authorities to work out where would excluded pupils go. If you simply create another class in school, it wouldn’t work.“It needs to be in totally fresh, new environment. It can be done anywhere.”Dr Mallett’s motion passed unanimously, with 315 votes.It came as part of a wider debate into the issue of serious youth violence and how younger members of the community become embroiled in gangs and how even middle class drug taking is “fuelling the rise in ‘county lines’ drug trafficking”.Dr Mallett, a member of the Mission and Public Affairs Council, announced last month that the Church would be focusing more on tackling serious youth violence.She said she has seen “too many funerals” for young victims of crime in her Diocese and that the Church should help tackle the culture that saw more than 39,000 knife crime offences in 2018 alone. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.