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End first-time exclusions, says ACE;News in brief

THE ADVISORY Centre for Education says schools are still excluding children for one-off or first-time offences, such as cannabis possession, despite advice to the contrary from the Government and other agencies concerned about rising expulsion rates and social exclusion.

"Pupils are still being permanently excluded for a one-off event, especially possession of a small amount of cannabis," says ACE's annual report. "The long-term negative effect of a permanent exclusion is a far greater punishment than they would have received from the police."

The report also notes that exclusions from primary schools now make up around two in five of calls to the charity's exclusions helpline -- up from less than a quarter in 199697.

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