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MANY EXCLUDED PUPILS 'NEVER RETURN'

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More than a third of children excluded from primary schools and two-thirds from secondaries never return to mainstr...
More than a third of children excluded from primary schools and two-thirds from secondaries never return to mainstream education, according to research published today.

The Guardian (p9) reports that Include, a charity campaigning for reintegration of excluded children, says it is concerned about the future of such children, who spend most of the rest of their education either in special schools, dedicated units or being taught at home.

It is calling on the government to collect detailed data on what happens to excluded children, and for there to be closer working relationships between shcools and social services.

Carl Parsons, of Canterbury Christ Church university college, has analysed official statistics for the 1997-98 academic year, when 12,298 pupils were permanently excluded. - some 1,500 being primary school pupils, of whom 400 were under 7.

In primary schools 62% of those permanently excluded from a school later found their way back into mainstream educationb, and in secondary schools it was 31%.

Of those who did return, 51% aged under 7 were out for more than one term while a new school was found to take them, and 20% missed more than two terms.

The findings also show a disproportionate number of exlcuded children had special educational needs, and also relatively high number of black and ethnic minority children.

In a parallel move today, the government will announce the first funding for ethnic minority pupils attending community 'supplementary schools'. Jacqui Smith, the schools minister, will detail and£1m package to link these schools to mainstream education.

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