The right tools
Proposed changes to appeals procedures, which will force tribunals to consider the needs of the school as well as the excluded pupil, are also sensible so long as the wider need to retain difficult-to-teach youngsters in the school system is not ignored. Parenting contracts backed by threatened court orders and even, in extreme cases, fixed-penalty fines, might also prove useful "tools" as part of family support programmes provided by education social workers. But headteachers will not want to impose fines on parents. Nor should they.