Primary school pupils excluded for racism, assault, drugs and alcohol

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The number of children being temporarily excluded from primary school in Wakefield has risen sharply.

A total of 290 youngsters under the age of 12 were removed from lessons after a serious incident in the 2016/17 academic year, compared with 195 two years before.

Sexual misconduct, racism and incidents relating to drugs and alcohol have all resulted in pupils being suspended from attending school in the past four years.

Wakefield Council figures also suggest there’s been a big increase in violence against teachers and fellow pupils.

The number of school days pupils were suspended for for assault increased from 427 in 2014/16, to 627 in 16/17.

Persistent disruptive behaviour, bullying and damage to property were also among the reasons pupils were excluded. 

The figures are revealed as MPs criticise school leaders for a “zero tolerance” approach to difficult pupils and favouring exclusion over alternative punishments.

Earlier this week, the chair of the House of Commons education committee, Robert Halfon said: “Today, we face the scandal of ever-increasing numbers of children being excluded and being left abandoned to a forgotten part of our education system which too often fails to deliver good outcomes for these young people.”

And last month, a senior officer at Wakefield’s Children Services department said that headteachers were encouraging home schooling among misbehaving students, as the number of children being expelled in the district was shown to have increased.

In numbers

Primary school pupils in Wakefield temporarily excluded in 2016/17 – 290

Primary school pupils in Wakefield temporarily excluded in 2014/15 – 195

Total number of school weeks lost to suspension by excluded pupils in 2016/17 – 245 (4 years and eight months)

Increase in number of school days lost by pupils who attacked a fellow student or teacher – 32%

Most common reasons for excluding pupils in 2016/17

Physical assault against an adult – 366 days of education lost

Persistent disruptive behaviour – 274.5 days

Physical assault against a pupil – 261 days

Verbal abuse/threatening behaviour towards an adult – 204 days