A Week in Education

29th June 2007 at 01:00
"MORE YOBS allowed back in classroom", The Daily Telegraph announced, revealing a steep increase in the number of exclusions that are being overruled by appeals panels.

Government figures showed there were 343,840 exclusions last year, a 4 per cent rise on 2005.

The number of permanent exclusions for serious disruptive behaviour or assault fell by 3 per cent to 9,440. But the proportion of successful appeals against exclusions rose dramatically. Of 980 appeals heard, 24 per cent were successful: an increase of 9 per cent on the previous year.

Teachers' unions claimed that this undermined schools' ability to keep discipline. David Willetts, shadow education secretary, described the trend as "disturbing".

british society is less mobile than 50 years ago and among the least mobile in the developed world, a Sutton Trust study found.

Children today are less likely to earn a better wage than their parents compared with those born in 1958, and there is still a strong link between the educational achievement of adults and their children.

Professor Stephen Machin of the London School of Economics, which carried out the research, said that contrary to expectation the expansion of higher education during the 1970s and 1980s seemed to have reinforced social immobility.

Another Sutton Trust survey of 1,000 leaders in politics, law, journalism, medicine and business showed that more than half were educated at independent schools.

Brown makes mischief, page 10

ONE IN 10 pupils aged 16 to 18 has dropped out of education and work, government figures revealed. Officials estimated that by the end of last year 206,000 teenagers were not in education, employment or training. But the total number of 16- to 18-year-olds who are in school, work or training for work has reached a record of 1.55 million, a slight improvement on the previous year.

11-year-old Daniel Mullinger of Colchester, in Essex, was killed, another boy was critically injured and two other pupils suffered more minor injuries when a tree branch fell on them during a school adventure trip to Felbrigg Hall, near Cromer in Norfolk.

The children all attended Heathlands primary in West Bergholt, near Colchester. Police are investigating if the incident on Tuesday was weather-related.

FINALLY, 16-year-old Lydia Playfoot is taking her school to court for religious discrimination because it refused to let her wear a chastity ring. Lydia argued the ring, a symbol of the Silver Ring Thing movement, which promotes sexual abstinence, is as valid as Sikh turbans or Muslim headscarves.

Leon Nettley, her headteacher at Millais secondary, West Sussex, said that as Lydia is due to leave school this month, the case may be motivated by a desire for publicity rather than a genuine concern over uniform.

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