Recording and reporting exclusions to provide essential management information is important, but the setting of targets is unhelpful.
Fixed-term exclusions are a way to help some pupils realise that unacceptable behaviour will have serious consequences.
Permanent exclusions are necessary when the presence of a pupil prejudices the safety, happiness and progress of others. Setting targets implies that excluding pupils is to be discouraged regardless of the circumstances. But this may inhibit the proper use of such sanctions and undermine efforts to maintain discipline in schools.
It would be more sensible for LEAs to support schools in trying to improve the behaviour of some pupils, and to make proper provision for those whose behaviour really is intolerable.
(north and mid Wales) Professional Association of Teachers
Star Malling, Kingsland Road Shrewsbury