Thirteen four-year-olds and 52 five-year-olds - nearly all boys - were permanently excluded from English schools in the 2000-1 academic year. The figures, revealed by the Department for Education and Skills on Wednesday, were dubbed "draconian"by Lib Dem education spokesman Phil Willis. But a DfES spokesperson said the number of exclusions of four to five-year-olds dropped from the previous year. Permanent exclusions rose 10 per cent on the previous year, from 8,300 to 9,100.
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