Excluded pupils miss out, despite initiative

1st August 2003 at 01:00
PUPILS who have been suspended from school are not receiving the full-time education ministers have promised, according to inspectors.

Very few of the 61 local authorities taking part in the Government's behaviour improvement programme are providing a full-time education for suspended pupils from day one of exclusions.

Authorities were expected to have offered this since January but inspectors said "a number had not started plans for this provision or had plans that were unrealistic". A few councils were also failing to provide a full-time education for permanently excluded pupils.

The findings were part of a report by seven inspectorates, including the Office for Standards in Education, on the impact of the street crime initiative, launched by the Government last year.

Inspectors found that police officers assigned to schools had made a very positive impact on pupils' attitudes and behaviour. They had also dispelled fears that they would damage schools' reputations.

However, inspectors said there was a lack of consistency in the role police officers were expected to play and there had also been problems with recruitment and continuity.

A Department for Education and Skills spokesman said nearly all local authorities in the programme now provided full-time education for suspended pupils from day one.

"Streets Ahead: A Joint Inspection of The Street Crime Initiative" is at www.homeoffice.gov.ukhmichmic

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