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School Discipline

Volume 513: debated on Monday 12 July 2010

The latest Ofsted reports tell us that in 95% of primary schools and 80% of secondary schools inspected in 2008-09 pupils’ behaviour was good or outstanding, but that means that behaviour in one out of five secondary schools is still no better than satisfactory. To address this, I announced to the House on 7 July a series of measures that will give head teachers and teachers the powers they need to ensure discipline in the classroom and to promote good behaviour.

I thank my hon. Friend for his answer. Two teachers from a primary school came to my surgery in despair over school discipline. They and others have advised me that schools are deterred from excluding pupils because they believe that doing so would have a negative impact on their Ofsted score and budgets. Does he agree that discipline and a head teacher’s ability to exclude pupils is being undermined by that and other aspects of schools policy that prevailed under the previous Government?

I thank my hon. Friend for that question. I welcome her to the House and congratulate her on her election. She is right: head teacher authority must be absolute in the classroom and we will remove deterrents that may prevent schools from properly exercising their powers to exclude pupils. The vast majority of head teachers intervene early to prevent exclusions becoming necessary, but when they are necessary we need to be sure that any deterrent is removed.