Commenting on the Anne Longfield’s Commission on Young Lives report into inclusive education,  Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

“We share the concerns from this report about the disproportionate exclusions of Black, SEND and poor students. We need a more holistic vision of education to address the level of exclusions in the English system.   

“The White Paper from the Government is going to be a missed opportunity to move away from an 'exam factory’ system and to replace competition between schools with collaboration and co-operation. Ushering in more structural change is not the answer and the issues in this report are the real issues we must tackle.    

“We must adopt national education policies on teacher training, school funding, retaining experienced teachers and an engaging curriculum if we’re going to build capacity to support young people and prevent exclusions. 

“At our recent annual conference, members were clear that exclusions must be reduced and prevented through better funding for early intervention and personalised support and an end to private Alternative Provision. This resonates clearly with the Young Lives Commission findings and recommendations.     

“The Government should implement the evidenced proposals needed to bring about meaningful change for young people with emotional or behavioural difficulties.  It is clear that increased discipline and silent corridors are not the answer. We agree that wellbeing should be valued, measured and a central goal for the curriculum and how it is assessed and we think the DFE needs to change its approach on assessment and school inspections.”