This from BBC News website (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/nottinghamshire/6204336.stm):
Drink and drugs pupils excluded
Fifteen of the pupils excluded were in primary schools
Hundreds of pupils in the East Midlands have been suspended or expelled from school because of drink or drugs, the BBC has learned.
Figures obtained using the Freedom of Information Act showed 775 pupils were excluded for drink or drugs in the year 2005/06, with 48 permanent exclusions.
The punishments were for those caught with or selling drugs or alcohol.
Paul Conneally, who runs substance misuse training in Leicester, said: "It is a battle that can be won."
He added: "It is not just about telling youngsters things are bad for them.
"It's also about letting them have the opportunity to make decisions for themselves."
The data obtained by the BBC is for the 2005/06 academic year.
The number of exclusions across the region equates to four for every day of the school year.
Figures were down on previous years with 814 excluded across the region in 2003/04 and 792 in the 2004/05 year.
All types of schools were affected, including grammars and those with foundation status.
Fifteen of the pupils excluded were still at primary school.
The exclusion rate was highest in Nottinghamshire - one per 450 pupils - and lowest in Leicestershire where there was one for every 2,100 pupils.
The exclusion rate for Lincolnshire is one per 650 pupils - equivalent to four every school week. Chris Clifford, a drugs and alcohol education worker in schools across Nottinghamshire, said: "Drugs and alcohol is a huge problem for young people at the moment. "A lot of those I work with have difficult backgrounds and have something they need to escape from. There's a problem in every single school, it just doesn't manifest itself in the same way."
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