Children’s moral rights and UK school exclusions

Tillson, John and Oxley, Laura (2020) Children’s moral rights and UK school exclusions. Theory and Research in Education, 18 (4). ISSN 1477-8785, ESSN: 1741-3192

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This paper argues that UK schools’ uses of exclusion often violate children’s moral rights. It contends that while exclusion is not inherently incompatible with children’s moral rights, current practice must be reformed to align with them. It concludes that as a non-punitive preventative measure, there may be certain circumstances in schools where it is necessary to exclude a child in order to safeguard the weighty interests of others in the school community. However, reform is needed to ensure that exclusion is a measure of last resort, unjust discrimination is eliminated, appropriate and timely alternative provision is available, cultures of listening are developed, and blanket policies are removed. The argument is framed in terms of children’s weighty interests as identified in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The moral bearing of these interests on UK schools is defended, and an overview of exclusion practices commonly used in UK schools is provided. Finally, the extent to which the use of exclusion in UK schools might violate the moral rights of the child is considered by evaluating empirically informed arguments for and against such policies couched in terms of interests identified in the Convention.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is the author's post peer review version of an article, the final version which appears in in the Sage Publications journal Theory and Research in Education.
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Education Studies
Depositing User: John Tillson
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2020 09:32
Last Modified: 15 May 2020 10:24

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