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School Discipline

Volume 554: debated on Monday 3 December 2012

We are taking decisive action to equip teachers to restore discipline in schools. No longer can a decision to exclude pupils be undermined by an appeal panel against the best interests of a school and other students in it. We are also strengthening the law so that teachers can issue same-day detentions.

What steps is my hon. Friend taking to ensure that head teachers are able to exclude pupils whose behaviour becomes unacceptable, and what help is then given to those pupils?

We are making sure that the ultimate decision on exclusion is made by a school governing body. Under the previous Government, appeals panels had the final say and 810 permanently excluded pupils were reinstated in schools between 2002 and 2010. We are encouraging schools to take an interest in the long-term education of those students who are excluded and we are trialling approaches so that they take an interest.

One of the best ways of ensuring discipline in the classroom is well-trained, motivated teachers. Could the Minister therefore explain why Keele university, which supplies many excellent teachers to Stoke-on-Trent, is losing 100% of its capacity to train teachers under the new School Direct proposal? We know that if universities train locally, the teachers will go locally. Why are the Government undermining aspiration in Stoke?

We are giving head teachers the power over how they train up teachers and how to ensure that we have the best quality teachers in the classroom.