Maximising Access to Education

A vision for inclusive systems change to support children at risk of exclusion.

November 2021:

We are looking for an organisation to deliver a groundbreaking model to reduce exclusions in Cheshire. Find out more.

Every day in England 35 children are told to permanently leave mainstream education. In less than a month the equivalent of an entire secondary school are excluded. This rate of exclusion means 7,905 children a year are permanently removed from mainstream education.

Why we are doing this: 

School exclusion is not simply an educational matter, but a symptom of complex issues that a young person faces in a highly fragmented system.

Young people who are excluded from school often face increased risk of exploitation and violence and reduced likelihood of finding stable, fulfilling employment in the future. So our vision is for an inclusive, coordinated and proactive system. A system that maximises access to education so that:   

  • children and young people, regardless of their needs, feel they belong and can prosper;

  • parents / carers can access the right support for their child when they need it, as early as possible, to keep them within mainstream schooling when that is the right place for them;  

  • teachers and schools can create inclusive learning environments by getting support from the wider system for pupils who need it to relieve pressure; and  

  • the local system incentivises and enables stakeholders to work together to provide children, parents / carers and schools with effective holistic support. 

What we are doing: 

Maximising Access to Education is working across two local authorities through a test-and-learn platform, for the practical implementation of the Timpson Review recommendations. Working in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council and Gloucestershire County Council, we are: 

  • Building infrastructure across local systems that enables multi-agency working;
  • Creating local, evidence-based marketplaces for preventative and reactive interventions;
  • Using data analysis to understand who is at risk of exclusion and how the impact of Covid-19 is being felt by vulnerable children

Social Finance has partnered with School Home Support, a national charity, to develop a ‘blueprint’ model to provide intervention for children and young people most at risk. With the delivery model nearing its finalisation, all partners are considering how we bring the model to life in the local areas.


In order to mobilise a pilot that works across those levels and is geared towards scaling its impact, we need to build the right kind of partnerships with the right skills. We will achieve this through three implementation functions across a delivery partnership between Social Finance, School Home Support and a local delivery partner:

  • Place-based infrastructure (Social Finance)
  • National expert partner (School Home Support)
  • Independent best practice (local delivery partner)

Next steps

The commissioning process to find a local delivery partner began in November 2021, with the implementation work to begin in February 2022. The local delivery partner can be an organisation or consortium of organisations.


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