157,107 days of exclusions;News;News amp; Opinion

10th December 1999 at 00:00
THE TABLES are accompanied by the usual data on pupil exclusions. Even the Scottish Executive urges that these should be treated with particular caution. Only 14 of the 32 education authorities say they exclude pupils in the sense of removing their names from the register.

The figures show permanent exclusions as zero, making the total for Scotland 25 in primary schools and 104 in secondary. The vast majority of the permanent exclusions in 1998-99 come from just two cities - Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Edinburgh's figures are up from zero last year, while Aberdeen's are down. Jon Mager, assistant director of education in Aberdeen, questioned the credibility of the figures: "We take great care to ensure that our returns are complete and accurate."

Aberdeen records as a permanent exclusion any pupil barred from a school. Glasgow, on the other hand, has no policy of indefinite exclusions. As long as pupils are in an educational establishment, they are still 'on the books.' Margaret Orr, senior education officer in Glasgow, said they were introducing a more rigorous monitoring of what happens to pupils at the end of the exclusion period, when they return to their original school. "We need to decide, on a case by case basis, whether continuing there is in the pupil's best interests," Ms Orr said.

Figures for temporary exclusions, where pupils' names are not removed from the register, show primary pupils were excluded for a total of 18,968 days: four and a half days for every 100 pupils. The number was highest in Dundee, followed by Glasgow.

In secondary schools (excluding S6) there were 138,139 days of temporary exclusions, 48 days for every 100 pupils. Glasgow is top of this league, followed by Dundee.

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