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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Tougher rules for excluded pupils
Teenagers
Pupils who have been excluded will have to be supervised by parents
Pupils excluded from school are to face tougher restrictions - and will be banned from roaming the streets.

Regulations coming into force in England this week require parents to keep pupils under supervision for the first five days of an exclusion.

Following this "home detention", local authorities will have to provide pupils with lessons from the sixth day of an exclusion from their own school.

Last year, there were an average of 1,700 pupils excluded each school day.

Schools Secretary Ed Balls says that "schools can only do so much in isolation. Parents have to be responsible for instilling right and wrong too".

HAVE YOUR SAY
Todays parents don't care what their little darlings get up to in school, as far as they are concerned they are little angels
Linda Letherby, Eastbourne

"It is important that parents take a central role when a child is excluded, making sure they are at home working, rather than treating the exclusion as a holiday or an excuse to wander the streets."

Fines for parents

Parents will face fines of 50 if they do not supervise children who have been excluded.

There is to be a new offence of failing to ensure a child is not found in a public place without reasonable justification.

And there will be a requirement for local authorities to step in with an educational provision for excluded pupils after the week with parents. At present, this requirement is not until the sixteenth day of an exclusion.

TOUGHER RULES
Children to be supervised by parents during exclusion
Parents face fines if children are not supervised
Local authorities responsible for education provision after five days
Interview with school, child and parents at end of exclusion period

Most exclusions are only for a few days - on average 3.5 days - but there were more than 13,000 exclusions last year for a fortnight or longer.

When exclusions are completed, there will be a compulsory "reintegration" interview between the school, the child and parents before returning to mainstream lessons.

This autumn will also see the introduction of lessons in secondary schools teaching respect and "emotional intelligence", designed to reduce violence and bad behaviour.

This Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (Seal) programme is already extensively used in primary schools - and in July the government announced a 13.7m plan to introduce these lessons into secondary schools.

Research published by the Institute of Education claims that schools where the Seal programme has been piloted have become "calmer places with more positive atmospheres".

"The children appreciated each other more and were more thoughtful towards each other," said the institute's Professor Susan Hallam.

Disruptive youngsters who have been excluded from mainstream classes can be sent to pupil referral units - with more than 15,000 pupils being taught in 450 such units last year.

'Tough love regime'

In July, the Conservatives' leader, David Cameron, called for an overhaul of the pupil referral unit system for excluded pupils - saying that such units were expensive and ineffective.

Commenting on the new regulations, shadow children's secretary Michael Gove said: "Let's not kid ourselves that these measures, welcome as they are, do anything like enough to solve the behaviour problem in our schools.

"You can't have a proper discipline policy unless heads are free to exclude disruptive pupils without being second-guessed.

"And children who've been excluded shouldn't be left to sink or swim. They need a tough love regime to turn round their behaviour and get their lives back on track."




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SEE ALSO
Teachers' rights law takes effect
02 Apr 07 |  Education
Pupil exclusion law 'unworkable'
06 Apr 06 |  Education
Pupils to get lessons in respect
05 Jul 07 |  Education
Cameron attacks discipline units
31 Jul 07 |  Education
Political lessons from discipline
31 Jul 07 |  Education
Heads told to get tough on basics
03 Sep 07 |  Education

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