School exclusion white paper due

Schools secretary Ed Balls is set to lay out the government’s strategy to lower school exclusions later today.

A white paper on alternative provision for excluded pupils and pupil referral units will reveal the government’s plans on the issue.

It follows calls from the Conservatives to heighten discipline in the classroom revealed by David Cameron last month.

Among the measures cited by the Tory leader were plans to “make it easier to expel disruptive kids” in order to prevent all schools being overrun by bad behaviour.

Permanent exclusion is normally the final and most serious step taken in a schools’ disciplinary process and it only occurs in a fraction of cases around the country.

The issue remains politically potent, however, but Mr Balls will have to juggle other issues too when he considers pupil referral units.

These are used for all pupils who cannot attend school – including those prevented from doing so through medical problems, because they are pregnant or because of behavioural problems.