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When sinners go marching out

IT AIN'T a sin if you don't let them in. That's the surprise new hardline message on unruly pupils from the Association of Christian Teachers.

Schools should be free to ditch trouble makers, says the evangelical group in the latest edition of its magazine, ACT Now.

A hard-hitting editorial accuses the Government and assorted academics of using "Imodium policies", bunging schools up with disturbed youngsters to keep them off the streets.

Taking the laxative high-ground, the ACT inists that many exclusions are necessary, and praises murdered head Philip Lawrence who ditched 60 pupils in two years:

"The emphasis of the past few months has been on ensuring that disruptive pupils are kept in schools or put back into them at the cost of teachers' sweat, tears and grief with disruption of other children's education a secondary factor," says the magazine, which goes out to the 3,000 members.

The editorial was penned by the ACT general secretary and former RE teacher Richard Wilkins who says he was exasperated by a rash of reports criticising exclusion.

Speaking to the TES, he denied that his position lacks important Christian virtues. "How charitable is it to shove kids back into a school where they're doing great damage to others?" he asked.

"I'm not in favour just shovelling them out of the door. But it is becoming difficult to get people to do secondary teaching." No one, he pointed out, expects the London Oratory school to put up with widespread disruption.

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