Permanent exclusions are down, shorter exclusions are on the increase
More than 2,200 children in England are excluded from school every single school day, show official figures.
The annual statistics, showing pupils removed for disruptive and bad behaviour, show short term exclusions have risen to 425,600.
However permanent exclusions have fallen by 7% - down to 8,680.
Children's Minister Kevin Brennan says that the fall in permanent exclusions shows that heads are successfully "nipping problems in the bud".
The most common reasons for permanent exclusion were persistent disruptive behaviour, physical assault against a pupil, physical assault against an adult and verbal abuse towards an adult.
Four times as many boys as girls were permanently excluded.
The long-term pattern of exclusions shows that there are many more short-term exclusions of three days or less and many fewer permanent exclusions - down by 29% since 1997.
The number of short term exclusions has risen by more than 80,000 since 2003-2004 to 425,600 in 2006-2007. A large majority of these are in secondary schools, with the exclusion levels now equivalent to more than one in 10 pupils.
The children's minister said that the figures showed that heads were using their powers to prevent bad behaviour.
“Heads are taking shorter, sharper action to improve behaviour to nip problems in the bud before it gets more serious, with most suspensions being for just two or three days," said Mr Brennan.
"Permanent exclusions are down and temporary exclusions are up reflecting early intervention and a reduction in the most serious incidents of bad behaviour."
The Shadow Minister for Schools Nick Gibb said the fall in permanent exclusions reflected "the hurdles headteachers have to jump to exclude persistently disruptive pupils, particularly the cumbersome and expensive appeals process".
"But the continual rise in fixed period exclusions shows that poor behaviour is still an increasing problem in secondary schools," he said.
Primary school permanent exclusions have fallen - down to 980 compared to 1,540 in 1997.
But the Liberal Democrats Children, Schools and Families spokesman, David Laws, said that it was "shocking that children as young as four or five are having to be excluded from any school".
Mr Laws also warned that there "must be a strong suspicion" over the exclusion figures, claiming that the government is "trying to lean on schools and local authorities to reduce the exclusion statistics".