Kelly Muddle over School Expulsions

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Byline: ISABEL OAKESHOTT

EDUCATION Secretary Ruth Kelly faced embarrassment today after repeatedly muddling key school statistics.

Ms Kelly was caught out during a live radio interview as she was grilled about expulsions.

She repeatedly gave the interviewer the wrong figures - insisting the problem was not as big as it is.

Ms Kelly also used outdated statistics on unsatisfactory behaviour in schools in an attempt to play down the scale of the problem.

She was later forced to accept that the most recent figures are far more damning. Ms Kelly was tripped up as she publicised plans to tackle bad behaviour in schools on Radio 4's Today programme-The Education Secretary-36, was grilled about the scale of the problem and was asked whether head teachers needed more power to exclude unruly pupils.

Presenter John Humphrys cited parliamentary records showing that appeals panels overruled headteachers in one in five cases. He said: "Of 1,070 appeals in the year for which figures are available, 21 per cent were overruled. …