Ministers warned that targets will hit needy pupils

19th May 2000 at 01:00
SOCIAL workers have become the latest critics of what they allege is a clash between the Scottish Executive's agendas of social inclusion and school targets.

Bill Alexander, director of children's services in Highland, told the Association of Directors of Social Work in Dunblane last week: "It is difficult for a school in Scotland to achieve targets and to be socially inclusive."

Margaret Doran, head of schools and children's services for Stirling, warned:

"Not all professionals, and certainly not those in secondary education, have signed up to social inclusion. There is a lot of stress in these secondaries just now because of the ntroduction of Higher Still. That is the priority of most teachers. We have to recognise that."

Peter Peacock, Deputy Minister for Children and Education, has insisted that targets should not compromise decisions on whether pupils should be excluded.

Mr Alexander told a seminar that he opposed the segregation of disruptive pupils in special units within schools. But he added: "Neither should teachers have to work with disruptive children through thick and thin. The answer is that the various agencies should work together to address the issues that are preventing children from being able to stay within mainstream classrooms."

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