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Inclusion, not exclusion, saves kids

As a head who works closely with excluded children, your recent coverage struck a chord ("Since when was reducing exclusions bad?" and "Greater freedom, but twice as likely to exclude," August 6).

Schools should think twice before writing these youngsters off. However, ministers should avoid turning pupil exclusion into a political football on behaviour policy. As the introduction to Sir Alan Steer's article stated: "Ministers' strange behaviour plans, and gloomy response to schools' successes, are worrying".

Mount Grace School in Potters Bar has a pupil "retreat" area, where disruptive children on the verge of exclusion have access to live online teaching.

This has had a positive impact on the entire school: non-attendance has been halved and GCSE pass rates have doubled.

Eileen Field, Headteacher, Accipio Learning, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire.

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