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Suffolk: How many violent students have been excluded from county’s schools? Figures released days after fatal stabbing of Ann Maguire at Corpus Christi Catholic School in Leeds

08:31 30 April 2014

Police officers at Corpus Christi School in Leeds, where Ann Maquire was stabbed to death by a pupil. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Police officers at Corpus Christi School in Leeds, where Ann Maquire was stabbed to death by a pupil. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Nearly 900 pupils were excluded from schools in Suffolk over a four year period for assaulting an adult on campus.

An additional 2,922 were excluded for assaulting a fellow pupil between 2008-09 and 2011-12, according to figures released by the Department for Education.

The figures come days after a teacher was stabbed to death in a Leeds school, renewing the debate about school safety.

Ann Maguire, a 61-year-old teacher of Spanish and religious education at Corpus Christi Catholic School, was repeatedly stabbed in a full classroom by a schoolboy on Monday.

Altogether 863 pupils received either fixed term or permanent exclusions as a result of a physical assault on an adult in Suffolk during the time referred to by the figures.

Yesterday the secretary of Suffolk NUT, Graham White, said in his experience the number of violent incidents in schools in the county was getting “slightly worse, but not substantially worse.”

In 2010, ministers handed new powers to head teachers to search pupils for weapons, drugs or stolen goods in a government drive to improve school discipline and crack down on violence. However Mr White shied away from that approach.

“I think there is enough overall being done to protect teachers but clearly we need to learn from these instances,” he said. “Staff need to be protected and so do pupils.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to go down the route of searching every pupil going into schools; I think that’s a bit over the top.”

Mr White added that some schools felt pressured not to exclude pupils in case it affected their Ofsted rating.

“Schools are certainly being pressured to retain pupils, because if you have high levels of exclusions it generally counts against you in Ofsted reports.

“It tends to be primary schools with pupils with particular needs which are impacting on other pupils and the authority is pressuring them to keep a pupil when the staff think it’s not right for them to be there.”

A spokeswoman for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers warned that some pupils saw their parents “ranting and threatening” teachers and copied them.

She said: “Teachers’ perception is that the behaviour of pupils is getting worse. But it reflects what is going on in society as a whole. There is a very different atmosphere.

“Some of that is good, children are far more engaged and confident than they used to be. But it does mean that there are parents who go in and rant and threaten the teachers. And if children see their parents and carers do that, they can replicate it.

“Where that happens it is deeply, deeply worrying.”

Suffolk County Council said: “Head teachers, and their respective governing bodies, are responsible for discipline in their schools. They develop their own behaviour policies and ultimately, decide whether or not a pupil is excluded.”

3 comments

  • It's supposed to be about EDUCATION. It's about time these so-called "SCHOOLS" put KNIFE CRIME on the curriculum and taught TEACHERS and PUPILS some of the effective SELF-DEFENCE TECHNIQUES used by the Police and Commandos, like how to DISARM an assailant with a knife, such as UECHI-RYU and KRAV MAGE.

    Report this comment

    bigger niche

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

  • Rory Breaker...Couldn't agree more. You must be from my generation. Adults were in tune with each other on discipline and respect, from home to school and in the community. Of course we weren't exposed to extreme violence in films, video games and dark stuff on the internet. Behaviour will get worse unless some old fashioned values and respect are brought back and we stop exposing children to so much violent stuff.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

  • Thanks to a country thats gone PCanti dicipline crazy, teachers must feel powerless! When I was naughty as a child I was put in my place. This dicipline cascaded from my parents, to teachers to adults in general. Kids knew their place and they had respect. These issues need a remedy. And that is simply the effective implimentation of appropriate punishment.These children are our future; this type of conduct will result in even issues more full prisons. It needs stamping out.

    Report this comment

    Rory Breaker

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

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