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McConnell set to grasp the nettle

A spokesperson for Jack McConnell said the Education Minister is aware disciplinary issues need to be addressed and knows, as a former teacher, of the concerns which exist.

Mr McConnell is expected to make announcements soon on extending the initiatives that have already been taken to resolve the problems. These will include steps to tackle indiscipline, exclusions and violence against school staff.

The spokesperson said that the Executive's excllence fund for schools has supported a range of initiatives which reflect ministers' view that "discipline is not just about controlling behaviour but also about instilling a desire to learn".

The three year-programmes include pound;23 million for alternatives to exclusion, pound;27 million for study support, pound;15 million to support work with parents, pound;15 million for education action plans and pound;26 million to get new community schools off the ground.

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