Rise in pupils suspended from school

28 Jun 07
The number of pupils suspended from school rose by 4% in 2006 while the numbers of special needs children educated outside of mainstream education increased by 3%, government statistics show.

29 June 2007

The number of pupils suspended from school rose by 4% in 2006 while the numbers of special needs children educated outside of mainstream education increased by 3%, government statistics show.

Although the SEN figures will be disappointing to campaigners for inclusive education, a spokesman for the Department for Education and Skills said: 'There is no drive to put all children in mainstream schools. When it is beneficial for a child to attend a mainstream school then they should, but in many cases it is better for the child to attend a special school.'

'The government wants to see SEN children placed in schools which are appropriate for them and meet their needs.'

But the DfES's June 26 official statistics did provide more positive news on other inclusion fronts, showing a 1.5 percentage point reduction in the proportion of 16–17 year olds not in education, employment or training.

Outgoing skills minister Phil Hope said: '[The] NEET figures are moving in the right direction… But we need to do more and we now have an action plan in place which will help push figures down further by bringing together agencies and policies to work in stronger partnership.'

A rise in suspensions – or 'fixed- period exclusions' – was counter- balanced by a 3% reduction in permanent exclusions. Outgoing schools minister Jim Knight said: 'The rise in fixed-period exclusions reflects the tough approach schools are taking to address bad behaviour.

'They are using the short, sharp shock of a suspension to nip problem behaviour in the bud, and this is helping to stop this escalating to the point where permanent exclusion becomes necessary.'

PFjun2007

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