Schools must tackle the causes of pupils' bad behaviour rather than just the symptoms, a children's charity has warned.
Barnardo's says unruly school children may be "acting out, not just acting up," and may be a sign that they have undiagnosed special educational needs (SEN) or have serious problems at home.
New figures from the Office of National Statistics show that pupils with a statement of special educational needs are around nine times more likely to be permanently excluded from school in England.
In 2010/11, some 5,080 children were permanently excluded from school. Eight per cent (430) were children who had a statement of special educational needs.
The warning comes ahead of a Channel 4 documentary, Lost Children, which aims to show what school life is like through the eyes of two children attending Barnardo’s High Close School in Berkshire, where all pupils have a statement of special educational needs.
Barnardo's chief executive Anne Marie Carrie said: "A school teacher's job is not an easy one, but they must look behind the behaviour to see the child. Unruly pupils may be acting out, not just acting up.
"The most ‘out of control children’ may be the most vulnerable children facing horrendous problems at home.
"Pupils may also have undiagnosed special needs, and the earlier these are identified, the better chance they have to reach their full potential.
"We believe that education and a stable home are vital if children are to have a chance at overcoming disadvantage."
The charity stated that behavioural problems at school often begin at home or in the community, with some children having to deal with domestic abuse or parents who are addicted to drugs.
Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teachers' union, said: "Schools already do a great deal to tackle poor pupil behaviour and do a great job in maintaining good order and discipline.
"As Barnardo’s acknowledge, the causes for poor pupil behaviour are often complex and deep rooted.
"Identifying what may be contributing to poor behaviour and tackling problems at an early stage is crucial.