School Exclusions

Oral Answers to Questions — Children, Schools and Families – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 12th November 2007.

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Photo of Sally Keeble Sally Keeble Labour, Northampton North 2:30 pm, 12th November 2007

What progress is being made in reducing school exclusions.

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Photo of Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Children, Young People and Families)

We back heads when they take the difficult decision to exclude a pupil permanently. The intention must be to intervene early to nip misbehaviour in the bud and so reduce the need for permanent exclusion. Since 1997-98, the number of permanent exclusions has fallen by almost a quarter, from 12,300 to 9,330.

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Photo of Sally Keeble Sally Keeble Labour, Northampton North

I welcome the improved figures set out by my hon. Friend. Will he say whether any thought is going into getting his Department to work closely with local police forces to deal with some of the antisocial behaviour that results from school exclusions, and to use that as a mechanism to pick up the most difficult young people and get them back into school?

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Photo of Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Children, Young People and Families)

Yes, I can confirm that. Of course, we have also introduced responsibility for parents during the first five days of absence after a pupil is excluded from school and greater responsibility for schools, local authorities and pupil referral units to ensure that those young people are not languishing around the streets, as they were in the past, but are receiving an education, as they should be. We are making significant progress in that area.

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