Skip to content

Devon Inclusion Toolkit: ‘No Need to Exclude’

We are very pleased to announce the launch of the ‘No Need to Exclude’ Toolkit to support staff in reducing exclusions.

All children and young people have a right to a full time education. However too many children are being excluded from school, many of which are illegal exclusions that fail to take into account the legislation surrounding every child’s right to an education. The main reason that children and young people get excluded from educational settings is because they are unable to manage their emotional distress and schools cannot manage the resulting behaviours.

Evidence presented to both the Government select committee and to the House of Lords which led to the publication of Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools demonstrates that there is a high correlation between children and young people being unable to manage emotional distress and having undiagnosed special educational needs. This is true both for those difficulties we see presented externally as behaviour difficulties and also for conditions such as anxiety disorders. Some of our most vulnerable young people who may have had adverse life experiences develop social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs which results in behaviour that often further excludes them from society. These needs, undiagnosed have a significant impact on life chances and in some cases exposes them to safeguarding risks.

“Today, we face the scandal of ever-increasing numbers of children being excluded and being left abandoned to a forgotten part of our education system which too often fails to deliver good outcomes for these young people.”
– Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Committee Excluded are the forgotten children.

The toolkit has been produced by schools and professionals working across Devon who have given up their time to attend consultation and listening events and provided case studies and examples of good practice. In producing the toolkit, we have also sought the views of children and young people who have been excluded from the school system to address where we have failed to listen to pupil voice.

The toolkit is presented in three parts. The first section sets out the context to the issues and also give school staff, governors and leaders support in carrying out best practice when working with pupils at risk of exclusion. The second section takes staff through the ‘Assess, plan, do review’ process for pupils at risk of exclusion. The third element is threaded throughout the toolkit and consists of links through to an online resource bank which gives case studies, practical resources and further training materials to be used as CPD within schools.

We wish to thank everyone who has contributed to the toolkit and would welcome examples of good practice from school that would like to submit materials to the resource bank.


The Devon Inclusion Project has six workstreams running several of which have now concluded.

No Need To Exclude toolkit was the most recent commissioned publication.

The Boxall Profile provides a framework for the precise assessment of children and young people’s social and emotional aptitudes. It provides staff with insights and suggests points of entry into the child’s world, allowing teachers to think about what lies behind their student’s behaviour, and how to plan accordingly. Babcock will be delivering training to schools during the summer half term and first half of the autumn term.

Work is also progressing with colleagues from Health and Early Help to more effectively identify and support children and young people with absence from school due to the level of anxiety. It is anticipated that this work will start to develop a ‘health’ link to the Devon Graduated Response which is embedding in all of Devon schools.