'Exclusions avoided'

Schools are resorting to temporary suspensions for even serious misbehaviour because factors such as appeals panels make permanent exclusions too difficult, the Conservatives claimed this week. They pointed to official figures showing there were more than 200,000 suspensions last year for offences - such as sexual abuse or assault and actual or threatened violence - that Government guidance says could merit immediate permanent exclusion. Baroness Delyth Morgan, children's minister, described the claim as "nonsense" and said more schools were using suspensions to clamp down before behaviour escalated to when permanent exclusion became necessary.

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