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Unions 2000 Thursday, 27 April, 2000, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
More 'sin bins' for unruly pupils
david blunkett
David Blunkett: Appeal for decency
There are to be another 420 "sin bins" for disruptive pupils in schools in England.

The Education Secretary, David Blunkett, wants the extra learning support units to get badly-behaved pupils out of mainstream lessons but keep them within their schools.

union leaders
The union's leadership is sceptical
But he said it was up to parents and other adults to help to encourage politeness and decency in the next generation.

The units for aggressive youngsters will provide specialist teaching and reduce the disruption in mainstream classes - without formally excluding the pupils involved.

And there will also be cash incentives for schools who take in the most difficult pupils - such as those with criminal records or a history of truancy - who have been excluded from other schools.

Mr Blunkett outlined his plans to the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) annual conference in Llandudno on Thursday.

He also promised them that head teachers were not to be prevented from expelling pupils, in spite of the government's target for reducing the number of permanent exclusions by a third by 2002.

'No ban on expulsions'

He said he wanted to make it very clear that schools were not expected to keep the most violently disruptive pupils.

"Heads have the power and in many cases have the duty to expel, to exclude, those pupils from the school altogether. There's no question about that," he said.

"Education authorities have targets to reduce exclusions, but they should not be used to pressurise schools recovering from severe difficulty ... when such exclusions are clearly necessary for the orderly running and recovery of the school."


We need to instil a bit of politeness and decency into the behaviour of the next generation.

David Blunkett
Of the new units, 28m will be used to set up 360 in secondary schools over the next two years.

They are in addition to the existing 620 units.

Another 8m from money allocated to education in the Budget in March will be used to set up 60 learning support units serving about 200 primary schools.

A new feature of his proposals is an allowance of 3,000 per pupil for some secondary schools which take in pupils excluded from other schools.

This will apply in the first six areas covered by the government's Excellence in Cities programme.

"It is the most disadvantaged schools, it is the ones struggling to improve their standing, their standards, their status, who have places available ... who are the ones who are expected to take children who have been, in the terminology, 'managed out of' other schools," Mr Blunkett said.

"Managed out of schools with high performance table ratings," he added, to applause.

"Managed out of schools before the schools expel them - and we all know it happens."

'Old-fashioned values'

The money will apply to the most difficult pupils - those who have been out of school for more than three months, or who have criminal records or played truant for more than a quarter of the time at their previous school.

Mr Blunkett also said that some parents had to do more.

"Parents have the primary responsibility for dealing with disruptive and badly behaved pupils," he said to more applause.

"We need to instil a bit of politeness and decency into the behaviour of the next generation," he said.

"Let's have a go at trying to eliminate foul and abusive language from our homes and our schools."

They led, he said, to "thuggishness and brutality".

"Many parents say they agree with us. We need their backing to make it happen."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Mike Baker
"The government wants to reduce the number of expulsions"
David Blunkett MP, Education Secretary
"We don't want children who disrupt the life chances of others to be in the classroom"

Talking PointTALKING POINT
School's out?
Should unruly pupils be removed?
See also:

27 Apr 00 | Unions 2000
19 Apr 00 | Unions 2000
16 Jun 99 | UK Education
28 Sep 99 | UK Education
01 Oct 99 | UK Education
12 Apr 00 | UK Education
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