School exclusions fall

Permanent exclusions have fallen by four per cent, according to figures released by the Department for Education and Skills today.

While headteachers are tackling misbehaviour and permanently excluding pupils where necessary, effective classroom management and government intervention has
resulted in exclusions falling from 9,880 in 2003-4 to 9,440 in 2004-5, the DfES claims.

“The new legal right to discipline in our Education Bill will strengthen the authority of school staff and give them the confidence to take firm action on all forms of bad behaviour,” said schools minister Jim Knight.

“The bill will also make parents take responsibility for excluded pupils in the first five days of a suspension, backed up by fines, to send a strong message to parents and pupils that a culture of disrespect and failure to take responsibility will not be tolerated,” he added.

The number of pupils being reinstated to their former school on appeal has also declined from 150 in 2002-3 and 130 in 2003-4 to 110 in 2004-5.

Fixed period exclusions were handed out to 220,840 pupils in 2004-5, mainly for disruptive behaviour and to enable pupils to “cool off” away from the classroom and to send a serious message that bad behaviour will not be tolerated.

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