School ordered to take back pupil

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The Education Secretary, Ruth Kelly, has ordered a primary school to take in a seven-year-old boy accused of violent behaviour, against the wishes of its headteacher and governors.

Her intervention angered the school which claims it flies in the face of her view that there should be "zero tolerance" of bad behaviour.

Some parents at the school, Cummersdale in Carlisle, Cumbria, have warned they will keep their children at home if the boy starts at the school after the Easter break on 19 April.

The boy was excluded from Great Orton primary school last year following claims that he assaulted the headteacher three times, a teaching assistant twice and injured several pupils - although his exclusion was rescinded on appeal. His mother now wants him to go to Cummersdale.

Sarah Mason, the acting head, said her school was full and was not geared up to cope with a disruptive pupil. "We have no male staff as a role model and we have an awful lot of special needs kids anyway," she said.

It is understood that the boy has already been turned down by several other schools in the area.