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Discipline powers 'lead to fewer exclusions'

01/08/2014 Kelly
The government has claimed the new powers it has given headteachers to enforce discipline are leading to fewer expulsions.

Data for the 2012-13 academic year shows that 1,000 fewer pupils were permanently excluded compared to the 2009-10 academic year, leading schools reform minister Nick Gibb to claim the coalition's reforms "are starting to have a real impact on improving behaviour in schools".

The same period witnessed more than 60,000 fewer fixed-term exclusions, while the number of such expulsions for physical assault dropped by more than 11,000. 

A number of reforms have been introduced by the government to help those in teaching jobs tackle bad behaviour at an early stage. 

These include getting rid of 'no touch' behaviour policies that prevented teachers from removing disruptive pupils from class, allowing educators to impose no-notice same-day detentions and making behaviour management a part of heads' training.

The coalition has also restored headteachers' authority by putting them back in charge of exclusions. Previously, appeals panels were able to overturn expulsions and send expelled pupils back into school, but this is no longer the case.

A significant decline has been witnessed in the number of excluded pupils reinstated by these panels, declining from 40 in the 2011 to 2012 academic year to just 20 in the 2012-13 year.

In addition, the number of appeals lodged fell from 420 to 180 during the same period. 

Mr Gibb said the government is focusing not just on individual exclusions; it is also addressing the problems that lie behind disruptive behaviour.

"We are also tackling the causes of exclusion by improving the quality of teaching, tackling disadvantage through the pupil premium, overhauling the special educational needs system and making radical improvements to alternative provision," he stated.

According to the figures, there has also been an improvement in school attendance, with 7.7 million fewer school days lost to absence last year compared to the 2009-10 academic year. Ofsted now rates 92 per cent of institutions good or outstanding with respect to behaviour.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801739359-ADNFCR
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