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Exclusions are a primary concern

DOES anyone else get concerned when they see primary school exclusions repeatedly reported in the press?

The facts and figures recently published on permanent exclusion of primary pupils make worrying reading. Also, special needs pupils are three times more likely to be excluded than their peers, according to the Audit Commission.

There are shortages of professionals, such as psychologists, and too few ethnic-minority teachers. Everyone gets their share of the blame, but what is being done positively and succeeding? Not a lot it seems, if the statistics are to be believed.

It is said that Croydon is one of the highest excluding authorities in the country. In fact, until last year, it had an excellent Prevention of Exclusions Project. This was such a success that it was acknowledged by the Teacher Training Agency as good practice and the initiator received a national achievement award just before the project was closed last year. Lack of funding was given as the excuse. Why aren't authorities with successful initiatives using them as part of the solution by disseminating good practice?

Successful expertise should be used to blaze trails locally and nationally, by focusing on the prevention of primary school exclusions. It is not only more economical, but also more cost-effective in human terms. These are tomorrow's citizens - let's do something for them today.

Mrs D Jansen

"An Cuan"

465 Wickham Road

Shirley, Croydon

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