HEADTEACHERS in Lancashire will have more powers to deal with excluded pupils, it has been announced.

Secondary schools run by Lancashire County Council are taking part in a pilot project which will enable heads to monitor their progress.

Unlike the current system, where the council places an excluded child in another school or pupil referral unit, headteachers have the freedom to assess the best setting for a problematic child.

Under the Department for Education initiative schools, will be given funding directly to provide specialist support for children that are likely to be or have been excluded.

The child, if excluded and moved to another school or centre, will remain on their original school’s roll.

This could then impact on the school’s overall results.

Council bosses are identifying which schools would take part in the three-year initiative geared towards improving behaviour in schools by holding heads accountable for every pupil they take on aged 11.

In Lancashire, 210 permanent exclusions were made in 2009/10 compared to 260 the year before, the last figures available, and there were 5,720 temporary exclusions, which is 600 fewer than last year.

The government is testing the system as a method to ensure excluded children do not disappear in the education system.

Audrey Swann, acting senior manager for the alternative and complementary education and residential service at the council, said: “In Lancashire we feel it is very important to be involved in the trial to explore the way forward for the educational provision for pupils who have been excluded, or at risk of exclusion.

“We hope this will give us the opportunity to work closely with mainstream schools to embed and continuously improve good practice, to ensure positive outcomes for the young people and to inform developments.”

Schools minister Nick Gibb said: “Improving behaviour is a key priority, which is why we support heads who exclude those children who persistently disrupt the education of others or who bully other children.”