Posted on Leave a comment

Schools that kick out unruly pupils to boost league table position face

Damian Hinds says he is prepared to change the law in order to crack down on schools with high numbers of expulsions Mr Hinds said that he supports teachers who have to make difficult decisions about their pupils, since one student’s disruptive behaviour has an impact on the whole class. But he said that expelling children from schools should “only ever be a last resort”. Schools which kick out unruly pupils to boost their league table position will be held to account, the Education Secretary has said.Damian Hinds has warned that he is prepared to change the law in order to crack down on schools with high numbers of unfair expulsions.There has been a rise in permanent exclusions in recent years, amid concerns that teachers are using them to get rid of students who they fear will drag the school’s results down.Between 2006/7 and 2012/13, the number of permanent exclusions reduced by nearly half. However, since then it has increased and over the past three years it has risen by 40 per cent.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––A Home Office report published earlier this year warned that school expulsions could be fuelling a rise in crime among children.Experts said teenagers who are kicked out of school are more vulnerable to getting caught up in gang violence and county lines drug operations.Research conducted by The Telegraph has shown that in areas where school expulsions are high, rates of crime recorded among young people are also higher.The number of children found in possession of a knife or offensive weapon has risen by 65 per cent in the last four years alone. Haircut and uniform violations are being punished by schools as severely as drug and weapons under “zero tolerance” policies , according to a report published earlier this year by the education select committee. Ahead of a roundtable discussion on alternative provision at the Centre for Social Justice on Wednesday, he added: “I want to be clear that holding schools to account for the pupils they place in alternative provision and permanently exclude is not off the table.”But being excluded should never be at the cost of a child’s education. No matter the obstacles they may face or the backgrounds they’re from, we want our young people to receive an education that fosters ambition and a confidence in their abilities.” Mr Hinds also said alternative provision – for children who are deemed too disruptive for mainstream schooling – must deliver a better quality of education.In April the Government launched a review, led by the former Children’s Minister Ed Timpson, to look at how exclusions are used and why certain groups are disproportionately affected. This review is expected to conclude early next year.MPs have warned that pupils are being “punished needlessly” for minor offences under strict behaviour codes and this is fuelling the escalating number of expulsions across England.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Damian Hinds says he is prepared to change the law in order to crack down on schools with high numbers of expulsions “Zero tolerance” behaviour policies have become a popular among headteachers as they seek to instill discipline and improve results. But such policies have been criticised by MPs who say they are leading to more students being temporarily or permanently excluded from school.The committee found that the rise in “zero tolerance” behaviour policies “is creating school environments where pupils are punished and ultimately excluded for incidents that could and should be managed within the mainstream school environment”.MPs said schools should be given incentives to be more inclusive, and urged minister to issue guidance for schools, reminding them of their responsibilities towards children. read more