Lewisham Council will review school exclusions, with the borough having the highest rate in London.

In 2016/17 there were 63 permanent exclusions in the borough’s secondary schools – a rate of 0.43 per cent.

This is more than double the London-wide rate, which saw 0.21 per cent of secondary school pupils permanently excluded.

The review will look to research where alternatives to exclusions have worked well, according to Lewisham Council documents.

“It is proposed that the review will look to find good practice examples of where alternatives to exclusion are working well, with a focus on fixed term exclusions from special schools, and permanent exclusions from secondary schools and how this can be embedded and replicated,” the documents explained.

Permanent exclusions are used as a last resort by schools when a pupil has seriously breached discipline policy, or would harm their own or others’ welfare.

A pupil can also be excluded for a set number of days, which is called a fixed-term exclusion.

Exclusions can have a raft of negative consequences for the child, and are linked to poor outcomes in mental health, educational attainment, employment and criminal behaviour.

It can also can give a child more opportunity to get involved or become at risk of gang activity, according to the documents.

Councillor Jacq Paschoud was shocked at the high rates of fixed-term exclusions at special schools in the borough.

With 164 fixed-term exclusions, the rate of 28.82 per cent was significantly higher than London rate of 15.51.

“It looks bizarre, is the decimal point in the wrong place?” she said.

In 2016/17, there were 232 fixed-term exclusions from primary schools.

Primary pupils cannot be permanently excluded form a school.

A final report on school exclusions will be ready in March 2019.