THE Deputy Children and Education Minister has mounted a strong defence of policy on alternatives to exclusion.
Speaking in Perth, Peter Peacock acknowledged: "Some feel that by promoting inclusive policies we are affecting adversely the needs and interests of the majority of pupils."
Ministers were aware of the frustration teachers fel at having to respond to classroom disruption from a minority of pupils. But exclusion should only be a last resort for "serious breaches of discipline or criminal behaviour".
Excluded pupils were in danger of a "cycle of decline" and the Government was determined to stick with its target of reducing exclusions by a third by 2002.