Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Limit on Expulsions 'Forcing out Teachers'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Limit on Expulsions 'Forcing out Teachers'

Article excerpt


A TEACHERS' leader headbutted by a pupil urged schools today to resist government pressure to cut the number of expulsions.

Andrew Broadhurst, an official at the Professional Association of Teachers (PAT), claimed that ministers were quietly imposing new targets aimed at reducing permanent and temporary exclusions.

Mr Broadhurst told the PAT's annual conference in Oxford this would lead to a recruitment crisis. He said if the boy who had assaulted him had been allowed to stay at school, he would have left the profession.

"We need to turn round to the educational policy makers and say that exclusions are a necessary fact of life," he said. "By setting targets and putting pressure on schools to reduce the numberof exclusions they are running the risk of a deterioration in behaviour unlike anything most of us have seen.

"We need to tell them they will be sending the wrong message to educational professionals and the recruitment and retention of staff will suffer."

He said every education authority now had to set targets for a range of areas, including expulsions, and they feared being named and shamed by watchdog Ofsted if they failed to meet them. He added: "We need a castiron assurance that despite the targets, pupils who deserve to be permanently excluded are."

The Department for Education and Skills denied there was any attempt to force schools not to exclude violent pupils. A spokesman said: "There are no targets for exclusions. Indeed, we fully support schools in excluding pupils where their behaviour warrants it."

Mr Broadhurst is head of physics at a grammar school in Lincolnshire. In 2002, a 14-yearold boy "snapped" after being told to stop misbehaving. He threw a flurry of punches at Mr Broadhurst and headbutted him in the face while screaming, "I'm going to f***ing kill you! …

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