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Tuesday, 25 September, 2001, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
Pupil exclusions 'can be' cut
School playground
About 20,000 pupils are excluded from school each year
Researchers have called for new efforts to be made to reduce the number of pupils being excluded from schools.

Experts at the universities of Edinburgh and Dundee want to see more professionals encouraged to work together to cut exclusions.

They found school-based inter-agency meetings can play an important role in helping to keep children in school.

More than 20,000 youngsters have been excluded from lessons in Scotland's schools in the last year, according to Scottish Executive figures.

Young people are human beings and can have a lot of difficulties out of school as well as in school

Gwyneth Lloyd, Edinburgh University

A Joseph Rowntree Foundation research project interviewed professionals, young people and parents, in six secondary schools, across three regions.

It found that schools were most effective where youth workers and a range of professionals worked with pupils.

At an Edinburgh University conference on Tuesday, various academics were discuss ways of preventing the high number of exclusions from Scotland's schools.

The university's Gwyneth Lloyd said pupils must work alongside relevant bodies to address the problem.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, she said: "Young people are human beings and can have a lot of difficulties out of school as well as in school.

"The kind of strategies that were really successful was when professionals were very non-judgemental and very genuine with the young people.

"They saw them as whole human beings and not just problems to be solved.

"One of the things we found sometimes is that when schools were saying they were supporting children and avoiding exclusion, that the young people were not very included."

The units would have to work to keep the pupils within the main stream and "not operate as sin bins", Mrs Lloyd added.

In June, the Scottish Executive announced a series of measures which it said would tackle indiscipline.

These included teaching disruptive pupils in separate classrooms, a school uniform for every school and skills classes to help parents of children with discipline problems.

Martha Fairlie reports
"Every year around 20,000 pupils are excluded form schools in Scotland"
Alexandra MacKenzie reports
"Academics will discuss ways of preventing exclusions"
See also:

05 May 00 | Scotland
School violence protection call
16 Feb 00 | Scotland
Classroom violence increase
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