Exclusions − Whose Needs are Being Met?
Evidence indicates that in the 1990s there has been a sharp increase in the number of pupils excluded from schools (DtE, 1992, 1993; ILEA, 1990; Lloyd-Smith, 1993; Merrick and Manuel, 1991; NUT, 1992; Parffrey, 1994; Stirling, 1992). The DtE study of permanent exclusions in state schools showed a rise of approximately 32% between 1991 and 1992 and concluded that the number of children excluded was too great. More recent figures of total permanent exclusions show a rise from 3,833 to 11,181 from 1992 to 1994 (nearly treble) and a figure of 12,458 for 1994-95 (DtE, 1995). Some sources, including the NUT (1992), however, believe that accurate figures are not available so that official figures may be underestimated. The conclusion must be that there is an increasing tendency for schools to use exclusion as a way of resolving the problem of disruptive and difficult pupils. Their expulsion from schools has become a major cause for concern for parents, teachers, local authorities, the government and the public at large (Advisory Centre for Education, 1991; DES, 1989; DtE, 1992; DtE 1994b ).