The relationship between social exclusion and educational attainment

This project will use the National Pupil Database (NPD) to investigate the relationship between exclusions and educational attainment. The NPD holds a wide range of information about pupils attending schools and colleges in England, including demographic information at the pupil level, various data on school characteristics, pupil exclusion and absence histories, and pupil attainment records from Key Stage 1 (age 7) to Key Stage 5 (age 18). Importantly, the data is longitudinal, allowing for the anonymous recording of pupils during their primary- and secondary-level education. 

The aim

The study will investigate whether pupils who are excluded from school, either temporarily or permanently, achieve lower levels of educational attainment as a result. It will test whether the effect of exclusion varies by exclusion type (e.g. fixed versus permanent), by reason for exclusion, and by pupil characteristics (such as age and gender). 

This project will be the first of its kind using large-scale longitudinal data for England. It will provide longitudinal estimates of empirical relationships to build on existing studies based mostly on cross-sectional data.

Project lead

Professor Duncan McVicar, Queen’s University Belfast (ADR Northern Ireland).

This project is funded by ADR Northern Ireland via its core grant from the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) as an ADR UK partner.

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