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Number of children under 7 being excluded is on the rise, expert says

Headteachers preoccupied with league tables are excluding more and more young children

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Headteachers preoccupied with league tables are excluding more and more young children

The number of four- and five-year-olds excluded from primary schools is on the rise, an expert who runs schools for children asked to leave mainstream education has said.

Des Reynolds, chief executive of the Engage Trust, which runs nine alternative provision academies, told the Sunday Times that headteachers preoccupied with league tables are expelling children for behaviour they would have spent time correcting in the past. 

He told the paper: “My youngest pupil is 3, and was permanently excluded from a nursery school. Our biggest growth area is the under-7s, where we are seeing big increases.”

Mr Reynolds added: “We have created a much more academically focused system, with high levels of stress and pressure, which some of our most vulnerable children cannot cope with.

"Schools do not have time any longer to manage children who do not behave."

Figures from the Office for National Statistics this month are expected to show a further climb in primary-age children being expelled, after the number reached 1,000 for the first time last year.

And this week, Tes revealed that the tales of pupils being ‘managed out’ of school are on the increase.

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