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Friday, 16 November, 2001, 19:41 GMT
School exclusions continue falling
Schoolchildren at play
Overall exclusions have fallen by nearly 20%
The number of pupils expelled from England's schools has continued to fall - though a growing proportion are of primary school age, says a government report.

New figures released from the Department for Education and Skills for 1999-2000 showed that the number of expelled children aged five to 11 fell to 1,226 from 1,366 but their share of the total rose from 13% to 15%.

A rising tide of pupil misbehaviour has hit primary schools

David Hart
NAHT

David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said people should not be surprised by the increasing proportion of primary school pupil exclusions.

"A rising tide of pupil misbehaviour has hit primary schools with the inevitable result that heads will exclude pupils who are damaging the education of the rest of the class," he said.

Secondary school expulsions fell from 8,636 to 6,713, accounting for 81% of the total.

Pressure

The rest of expulsions were for schoolchildren with special needs.

In total, the number of permanent exclusions fell from 10,438 to 8,323, a fall of nearly 20%.

African-Caribbean pupils remained three times as likely to be expelled as children from other ethnic groups, the figures showed.

They were barred at a rate of 46 per 10,000 compared with just one in every 10,000 for Chinese children.

However, the black exclusion rate has fallen in recent years - they were 3.5 times as likely to be ordered out by schools in 1996-97.

David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers
David Hart fears bad behaviour is increasing
Nearly nine out of 10 children who had been expelled were receiving some form of schooling, about half in pupil referral units (PRUs).

By next September, every local education authority in England and Wales is supposed to ensure that children who have been excluded from school are being taught full-time.

Mr Hart added: "The secondary school figures reflect both a continuing pressure by local authorities and appeal panels to take back excluded pupils.

"Heads will welcome the forthcoming Education Bill which will require appeal panels to have regard to the interests of the whole of the school community, both pupils and staff, and put people with experience of classroom management in a majority on appeal panels."

Boys continue to account for the lion's share of expulsions at 84%.

Teachers have continually blamed pupil disruption as one of the main factors preventing greater recruitment and damaging morale.

See also:

25 Sep 01 | Scotland
Pupil exclusions 'can be' cut
04 May 01 | Education
Pupil exclusion targets dropped
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