Zero Exclusions for Innovative Trust as Government Orders Inquiry

As the government orders an inquiry into the rising number of school exclusions, a multi academy trust operating schools in five local authority areas has revealed it has never permanently excluded a single pupil.

Wellspring Academy Trust, which operates 15 Academies, including four Alternative Academies, revealed its figures as debate around exclusions continues to rage.

The number of pupils being permanently excluded in some areas has risen by as much as 300 per cent in a year prompting stern words from education secretary Damian Hinds who this week ordered an inquiry.

Mark Wilson, Chief Executive Officer at Wellspring Academy Trust, said: “Wellspring marks its fifth anniversary with a proud track record of no permanent exclusions. We believe passionately in inclusion and this can be clearly seen in our record to date.

“I am extremely concerned with why exclusion rates in our region are among the highest in the country. Wellspring is committed to working in an ethical and values-driven way. We are actively demonstrating that exclusion isn’t the only answer.

“Inclusion sits at the heart of the Wellspring philosophy. We support our Academies to achieve an inclusive environment and stand alongside them as they tailor learning to meet the needs of individual learners. We find a way to support learners and help them. We take a restorative and developmental approach and commit to every young person in our care.”

Wellspring’s unique approach was one of the reasons the Trust was referenced by the Department for Education as being a “model of inclusiveness” in a recent Parliamentary Select Committee session.

Mark Wilson added: “We welcome the Education Secretary’s announcement and look forward to sharing our learning and expertise in this field in the coming months, whether it’s with the Education Secretary directly or with the agencies who are actively investigating this very worrying trend.”

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