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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 7 April, 1999, 07:51 GMT 08:51 UK
Teachers back right to expel
Violent pupils:
Violent pupils: "Not an educational problem"
By Adrian Dalingwater in Eastbourne

The government's support for the teaching of violent and disruptive children within schools has come under attack at a teachers' conference.

Unions 99
Delegates at the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) conference in Eastbourne passed a motion backing the right of schools to expel such pupils.

The NASUWT office in London deals with an average of one case a week where its members have refused to teach a particular pupil because of violent or disruptive behaviour.

And delegates heard of the case of a four-year-old boy who was expelled from his primary school after biting 16 classmates and four members of staff.

Speakers argued that teachers should not be responsible for controlling violent and disruptive children.

Peter Tippetts, a teacher from Southampton, said: "It leads to situations where the inmates are running the asylum.

"Because they expect nothing from schools, and because they have nothing to fear from the sanctions we impose, they are not controllable in a normal learning environment."

Target

Ministers aim to reduce the number of children who are permanently excluded from school in England each year by a third by 2002, and have provided extra funding for programmes such as the setting up of special in-school units.

But the conference was told that such pupils were a barrier to the government's stated aim of raising classroom standards.

Peter Simkins, from Birmingham, said: "All pupils pay an educational price when their lessons continue to be disrupted."

The motion backed by delegates said: "One of the most damaging elements in our education system remains those pupils who... impose their chaotic agenda on all those whose schooling they share.

"The provision of in-school units to address the behaviour problems of pupils must not be viewed or used as an alternative to the permanent exclusion of those pupils who exhibit violent and disruptive behaviour which threatens the health, safety and welfare of staff, and the physical and educational well-being of other pupils."

See also:

24 Sep 98 | UK Education
04 Mar 99 | UK Education
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