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Croydon has not excluded care

I share your correspondent Mrs Jansen's (TES, June 14) concern at the rising numbers of excluded pupils nationally and locally and feel a sense of despair that some very young pupils are beginning their education so badly. I cannot, however, agree with her implied criticism of Croydon.

The education department's budget for children out of school or at risk of exclusion is one of the highest in the region. We currently spend more than pound;3 million - pound;500,000 of which is new money allocated this year.

I am sure Mrs Jansen recognises that the reasons for exclusion are complex and will not be solved by lone projects, however good. Schools need a final sanction, if only to protect the vast majority of well-behaved pupils.

Once a child is excluded they are offered a good level of support to help them get back into a mainstream school.

The department has also invested in a new post of social inclusion worker to support and develop links with many black and ethnic-minority voluntary groups that help children.

Councillor Louisa Woodley Croydon Council

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