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'GOVERNMENT FAILING TO ADDRESS CAUSES OF SCHOOL EXCLUSIONS'

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The LGA has expressed concern that the government's proposals* to require appeals panels to 'focus on the needs of ...
The LGA has expressed concern that the government's proposals* to require appeals panels to 'focus on the needs of schools' could result in an increase in the number of exclusions, and of pupils left without a school place.
Graham Lane, chair of the LGA's education executive, said: 'It costs three times as much to educate an excluded pupil as it does to educate a pupil within a mainstream school, and it is not clear who will foot the bill - certainly not the school that is doing the excluding. From September pupils excluded from school will rightly be entitled under law to a full time education. Unless the government makes more money available the cost of this will have to be met by the LEA - at the expense of the money available for all schools. Making it easier for schools to exclude pupils, and keep them excluded, will increase the social exclusion of those pupils and do nothing to promote social integration and harmony.
'The business of schools is to teach well and engage pupils in learning; it is not the school's place to become a quasi enforcement body seeking parenting orders where children misbehave. Nor will making admissions forums mandatory overcome the problems of finding places for excluded pupils where some schools retain their own admissions policies. Schools will still be free to refuse to admit a 'difficult' pupil.
'Overall the government's approach appears to focus on symptoms rather than causes. Poor behaviour of pupils is linked to a wide range of factors including unemployment, housing conditions, adult illiteracy and other aspects of social exclusion. Addressing pupil behaviour at school level does little to address the underlying causes of that behaviour. Local authorities across the country are working to try and tackle the underlying causes of anti social behaviour and the LGA calls upon government to address these issues in a more holistic way.'
* see LGCnetfor details
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