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Pupil exclusion in Croydon down to lowest rate ever

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THE pupil exclusion rate is at its lowest level since records began, figures published this week have revealed.

There were 64 permanent exclusions from Croydon's maintained schools and academies in the 2011/12 academic year.

This equates to an exclusion rate of 0.12 per cent, the lowest since national data on exclusions was first published in 1999/2000.

The council said the establishment of a Primary Fair Access Panel, which took over from the previous independent process for appealing exclusions in September, had been a "significant factor" in reducing the figure from the middle 70s in the two previous academic years.

The access panel ends the previous body's power to reinstate pupils to the school and instead has the ability to uphold, recommend reconsideration or quash the decision and recommend the governing body considers the ruling again.

There were three permanent exclusions at primary schools in 2011/12 and none since the access panel was established.

Intensive support and "challenge" for previously high excluding schools had also led to a reduction in permanent exclusions, said a report due to go before cabinet on Monday.

Boys are just over four times more likely to be excluded than girls, both permanently and for fixed terms.

Exclusion rates among black Caribbean pupils have caused concern in recent years.

Black Caribbeans make up 11 per cent of Croydon's school population but constitute 17 per cent of permanent exclusions and 23 per cent of fixed-term exclusions.

Croydon is targeting less than 55 permanent exclusions in 2012/13 which would equate to a rate of 0.11 per cent.

To achieve this, a number of secondary head teachers have agreed to be part of a group tasked with exploring alternatives to exclusion.


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