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How effective are school interventions in reducing exclusions?

Researchers: Professor Manuel Eisner

By Nuffield Foundation

Project overview

Schools use many procedures to tackle behavioural issues, including disciplinary rules, parent meetings and punishments (such as detentions and loss of privileges). Among punishments used in schools, being excluded (or suspended) is one of the most serious consequences of student misbehaviour.

This study will investigate which school-based interventions for reducing exclusions are the most effective in doing so. It will explore this issue by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of previous research, something that has not been carried out before in this area.

The researchers will compare different approaches – for example, school-wide management, classroom management, restorative practices and cognitive-behavioural interventions – to identify those that can demonstrate the largest and most significant effects. They will control for factors such as:

  • Students’ age, ethnicity and gender
  • The characteristics of the interventions and their implementation
  • Study quality.

By bringing together the results of many different studies, the researchers will be able to produce a rigorous statistical summary of interventions in this area. The study aims to produce a much-needed evidence-base for school managers, policy makers and researchers.


  • Professor Manuel Eisner
    University of Cambridge

  • Cheryl Lloyd
    Programme Head, Education
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Education
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

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