Higher Education

Increasing number of students on repeat suspensions

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There has been an increase in pupils suspended five and 10 times per year. Disruptive students are being given repeat suspensions rather than being permanently excluded from England's schools, official figures suggest. The number of pupils suspended 10 times or more in a year more than doubled between 2004 and 2007, while permanent exclusions fell by 13%. The Tories, who revealed the figures, say it is because head teachers' hands are tied over long-term exclusions. The government says that schools are reducing low-level disruption.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families figures show that the number of permanent exclusions fell 13% from 9,990 to 8,680 over the four years to 2007. Repeatedly suspending disruptive children instead of excluding them means they don't get the required specialist help. General secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers Mick Brookes said a 13% drop in the number of permanent exclusions was a positive step. 'Nobody wants a permanent exclusion. And if we are finding other ways to deal with the problem providing that's not damaging other children's education then that is a good thing.'

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