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More pupils excluded over racist abuse

NO PLACE FOR HATE: There has been a rise in the number of children excluded from schools

A RECORD number of pupils were excluded from Kirklees, West Yorkshire primary schools for using racist abuse writes the Hudders eld Examiner.

Primary school pupils were suspended 876 times in 2017/18, up from 797 in 2016/17 and the highest since records began in 2006/07.

SUSPENSIONS

And of these exclusions 11 – a record number – were for racist abuse. Suspensions for physical attacks on primary school staff in Kirklees were are at record levels, with 322 in 2017/18, up from 266 in 2016/17.

As were exclusions for verbal attacks on other pupils (27). The figures were published recently by the Department
for Education.

In all, 22 children were permanently excluded from Kirklees primary schools in 2017/18.

In Kirklees secondary schools there were 3,115 exclusions in 2017/18, up from 2,929 in 2016/17.

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Exclusion rates have risen in recent years because of cuts to both education and local services which have made it more difficult to provide early intervention and support to children with challenging behaviour, and prevent that behaviour from escalating to the point of exclusion.

“Schools do not take the decision to exclude lightly, and when they do so it is in the interests of other children and staff who have a right to learn and work in a safe and orderly environment.

“Permanent exclusions have increased slightly this year but the rate remains at around 10 pupils per 10,000 which is lower than it was in 2006/7.

FUNDING

Fixed-period exclusions have increased more significantly but the rate is also lower than in 2006/7.

“Schools are working hard to avoid having to exclude pupils, but the government must do more to back them up with an improved level of funding
for education and investment in local services which provide support to vulnerable families and children.”

Across England, the number of children being expelled from primary school expulsions fell slightly, from 1,253 in 2016/17 to 1,210 in 2017/18.

The figures include 37 children aged under five.

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