Responding to new figures for permanent and fixed-period school exclusions in England for 2018/19, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:
"These figures make appalling reading. Every year thousands of children - often the most vulnerable - are being written off by our education system. Children eligible for free school meals are more than four times as likely to be permanently excluded - that says it all.
"This Government should be ashamed that they have presided over continually high rates of permanent exclusion. Cutbacks to school budgets undoubtedly play a part in this. So too does the culture which prizes exam results and league table rankings over care and support.
"We need see action to address the disproportionate number of exclusions among pupils on free school meals, as well as Black Caribbean, Gypsy and Roma, and Traveller pupils. That's why we need to see a review into disparities in school exclusions."