Off-rolling: how to identify and prevent it

Ofsted will look for evidence of 'off-rolling'. Find out what it is – and what it isn't. See what measures your board can put in place to hold your senior leaders to account and prevent off-rolling in your school.

Last reviewed on 15 March 2024See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 34789
Contents
  1. What is off-rolling?
  2. Scenarios: what counts as off-rolling and what doesn't?
  3. Ofsted inspectors will look out for off-rolling
  4. Use these tips to prevent off-rolling in your school
  5. What to do if you suspect off-rolling

What is off-rolling?

Off-rolling is when a pupil is unlawfully removed from the school register. 

Ofsted's definition

Ofsted defines off-rolling as:

  • Removing a pupil from the school roll without a formal, permanent exclusion

Or, when the decision is made primarily in the interests of the school and not the pupil:

  • Encouraging:
    • A parent to remove their child from the school roll
    • A sixth form student not to continue with their course of study
  • Keeping a pupil on the school roll but not allowing them to attend school normally, without a formal permanent exclusion or suspension

See paragraph 412 of the School Inspection Handbook.

The DfE's stance on unlawful exclusions and off-rolling:

The exclusion is in response to a serious breach or persistent breaches of the school's behaviour policy; and Allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.