Exclusion not a target game

9th December 2005 at 00:00
Given classroom indiscipline is the biggest cause of stress to Welsh teachers (TES Cymru, November 25), it is disappointing that the Welsh Assembly appears determined to require local education authorities to set targets for fixed-term and permanent exclusions.

Recording and reporting exclusions to provide essential management information is important, but the setting of targets is unhelpful.

Fixed-term exclusions are a way to help some pupils realise that unacceptable behaviour will have serious consequences.

Permanent exclusions are necessary when the presence of a pupil prejudices the safety, happiness and progress of others. Setting targets implies that excluding pupils is to be discouraged regardless of the circumstances. But this may inhibit the proper use of such sanctions and undermine efforts to maintain discipline in schools.

It would be more sensible for LEAs to support schools in trying to improve the behaviour of some pupils, and to make proper provision for those whose behaviour really is intolerable.

John Till

Regional officer

(north and mid Wales) Professional Association of Teachers

Star Malling, Kingsland Road Shrewsbury

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