Excluded children should have anonymity, too

29th November 1996 at 00:00
Further to your article, "Bad children should remain nameless", (TES, November 15), the Professional Association of Teachers has, since September, been calling for children excluded from school, or under threat of exclusion, to be given the same anonymity as juveniles in court.

In the vast majority of cases, the media are not allowed to reveal the names, addresses or schools of children who appear in court. In some of the recent exclusion controversies, however, children have even been interviewed on TV. Some children have clearly been encouraged in their disruptive behaviour by the media attention.

Media exposure can have serious long-term effects on a child's future. That child may need psychological help, or to be placed in a referral unit or transferred to another school. Media controversy only makes matters worse. The Government should introduce regulations to protect the excluded child - and the other children and parents at the school - from the media circus.

JOHN ANDREWS General secretary Professional Association of Teachers 2 St James's Court, Friar Gate, Derby

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