The Conservative Education spokesman David Willetts told the Politics Show today that excluding more delinquent children is part of the solution to under-performing schools.
Mr Willetts said: "It's strong and effective Heads who can turn round the schools in some of our toughest areas, where sadly some of our weakest performing schools are; so we want to give power and authority to Heads, and one area but not the only area, one area that is very important is their ability to exclude pupils whose behaviour is so bad that it's threatening the chances and the opportunity to learn of the rest of the kids in the classroom."
He went on to say that excluded pupils should be educated not in Pupil Referral Units run by local education authorities as at present, but in youth projects run by the voluntary sector.
"David Cameron and I have seen some great projects run by social enterprises, which we believe can do a much better job at helping these teenage kids who've been excluded from school, getting back into the habit of learning."
David Willetts also gave a cautious welcome to the Freud Review on Welfare to Work. He gave a guarded thumbs-up to the government's review on how to get more people into work. He said:
"We will look at it and I think if, if it helps, if it passes the crucial test of helping getting people in to work, more effectively than the old bureaucratic systems have done, then yeah, we'd give it a sympathetic hearing."
But he cautioned that the government had tried and failed to address this issue in the past.
"I've heard Tony Blair talking about welfare reform in the past and the fact is, we have to wait and see whether Tony Blair is serious about it this time."
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