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Suspended secondary school pupils are about a year behind their peers on average by the time they take their GCSEs, new research has found, putting a number on the “suspension grades gap” for the first time. 

However, researchers warned they “cannot be sure” that suspension itself caused the difference in GCSE grades, as there could be other “unmeasured characteristics”.

The Education Policy Institute found suspended pupils were, on average, not achieving a grade 4 pass in GCSE English and maths. Their average grade was 2.78 compared, to 4.72 for their non-suspended classmates.

Researchers, commissioned by the charity Impetus, warned suspended pupils were on average 12 months behind their non-suspended peers. 

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