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Pupils falling out of school system.

THOUSANDS of children who need full-time education most are disappearing from the system, says a survey by a govern-ment watchdog.

Local education authorities in England and Wales exclude more than 12,000 children a year from school.

But, says a survey by the Audit Commiss-ion, only 66 per cent of Local Education Authorities in Eng-land and Wales knew where children were six months after they were excluded.The government has pledged that by 2002, LEAs must provide permanent full-time education for all excluded pupils within 15 days.

The average time excluded children remain without any education placement is up to 18 weeks.

The Audit Commission survey shows that every day, 400,000 children are absent from school - one in ten - without their school's permission.

Although the rate has recently started to drop, 13,000 are still permanently excluded from schools in Eng-land and Wales, and 150,000 removed for up to 15 days

A spokeswoman for Coventry LEA said the city was hoping for government cash to continue a behav-iour support pilot programme in some city schools.

The city council is also looking to extend a re-integration programme for excluded pupils and a new package to support 15 and 16-year-olds who have been excluded during GCSE studies.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 16, 1999
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