Fewer pupils expelled from school

FEWER pupils are being excluded from Suffolk's schools for misbehaving, figures revealed today.In the current academic year, which still has another four weeks to run, 69 pupils from primary, secondary and special schools were permanently excluded.

FEWER pupils are being excluded from Suffolk's schools for misbehaving, figures revealed today.

In the current academic year, which still has another four weeks to run, 69 pupils from primary, secondary and special schools were permanently excluded.

The number of fixed-term or temporary exclusions currently stands at 4,464 and the figures show a fall during the last three years.

Patricia O'Brien, portfolio holder for Children, Schools & Young People's Services, said today spoke of her pleasure at the figures, but vowed to continue the improvements.

She said: “The county council is pleased that the number of permanent exclusions for young people from Suffolk schools continues to fall.

“We must however continue, through close working with teachers and support staff, to make sure these figures continue to fall.”

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Permanent exclusions are issued for various forms of misbehaviour including bullying, drug and alcohol issues, persistent disruptive behaviour, physical assault against staff or pupils, racial abuse and sexual misconduct.

The statistics in Suffolk's schools in relation to permanent exclusions follow the national trend.

However, the national figures show an increase in the number of fixed-term exclusions.

Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT, the largest union representing teachers and headteachers throughout the UK, said: “The reduction in the number of exclusions is welcome providing it is for the right reasons.

“The government has given a strong commitment to supporting schools in tackling pupil indiscipline.

“However, evidence from NASUWT casework regrettably continues to demonstrate that there is still a reluctance in some schools to tackle serious indiscipline through exclusion.”

A paper on the latest stats regarding school exclusions in Suffolk will be presented at the next county council cabinet meeting on July 13.

n. Has your child been excluded from school? How has it affected them? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Permanent exclusions in 2003/04: 195

Permanent exclusions in 2004/05: 148

Permanent exclusions in 2005/06 (to date): 69

Fixed term exclusions in 2003/04: 5,397

Fixed term exclusions in 2004/05: 5,231

Fixed term exclusions in 2005/06 (so far): 4,464

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