School Heads in Expulsions Row

Article excerpt

Parent power is leading to too many expelled pupils being readmitted to schools after appeals, head teachers warned last night.

The National Association of Head Teachers has written to the Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Shephard, demanding, tougher guidelines.

Schools are being forced to take back children excluded for serious offences such as pushing drugs and violent assault. And the high number of readmissions after complaints by families to local authority appeals committees is undermining teachers, the u n ion complains.

Making schools take back pupils permanently expelled for such activities makes "unacceptable behaviour look acceptable," the letter states.

Head teachers raised their concerns with ministers earlier this year, but their fears have not been allayed. Now they are demanding Mrs Shephard takes action on two key issues.

They are urging her to impose new guidelines for appeals and to introduce stricter rules for the make-up of appeals committees, including a "legally qualified person" to chair these bodies. …