Thousands of days lost due to exclusion

Children excluded from school. Picture posed by models
Children excluded from school. Picture posed by models

THERE have been almost 300 short-term exclusions issued to badly behaved primary school children, with more than 700 days of learning lost due to fixed term exclusion.

New figures released by Department for Education reveal that primary schools handed out 297 exclusions to youngsters aged under 11 for a combined total of 704 days in academic year 2013/14. These children lost four days of school.

A total of 153 children had more than one temporary exclusion, with an average of 1.94 suspension per pupil.

Overall, 1,940 suspensions were enforced to primary, secondary and special school pupils, for a total of 5,260 days.

Secondary school youngsters incurred the most temporary exclusions, with 1,554 for 4,335 days. These pupils lost an average of five days. A total of 828 were repeat offenders, with an average of 1.88 exclusions per pupil.

Only 88 fixed term exclusions were given to youths with specific needs and disabilities from special schools, with 219 days lost. Almost half of these were temporarily excluded more than once, with an average of 2,05 suspensions per pupil and five days lost.

The most common reason for suspensions with all pupils was verbal abuse against a teacher, with 336 incidents.

The second most prevalent reason was persistent offending behaviour, with 327 cases. A total of 224 pupils assaulted another classmate and 104 had hit out at a teacher. Nine secondary school youths were accused of sexual misconduct, with a further two from either special or primary schools. Almost 100 secondary school pupils were told to remain absent for a short term for drug or alcohol-related problems. Bullying was another factor, with nine cases and a further 14 for racial harassment.

But there have been no permanent exclusions in the borough’s schools.

A Wigan Council spokesman said: “Having no permanent exclusions is great news for parents and pupils. The causes of disruptive behaviour can be extremely complex; there are few simple solutions. Schools are required to have strategies to intervene early and avoid exclusions where possible.”