Number of excluded pupils has increased

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Increasing numbers of pupils have been excluded from schools for bullying and violence, according to new figures.

Government statistics show in 2010-11 a total of 5,540 pupils in the county were either excluded permanently or for a fixed time – up 90 from the previous year, when 5,450 pupils were excluded. The numbers show that the number of fixed period exclusions for pupils who assaulted other pupils, verbally abused or used threatening behaviour against an adult, were involved in bullying, racist abuse and persistent disruptive behaviour, all went up.

In 2010-11 the number of permanent exclusions for physical assault against an adult, verbal abuse or threatening behaviour against an adult and persistent disruptive behaviour were all up on the year before.

In 2010-11 a total of 18 pupils were permanently excluded for physical assault against a pupil, 18 were permanently excluded for physical assault against an adult and 22 were permanently excluded for verbal abuse or threatening behaviour against an adult. Six pupils were permanently excluded for drug and alcohol-related reasons and there were 39 permanent exclusions for persistent disruptive behaviour.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “Exclusion should only be used as a last resort and we are determined to continue working with schools to bring the number down. A decision to issue an exclusion, whether permanent or fixed term, is taken by a headteacher who will have weighed up the specific circumstances carefully.

“The county council’s role is to support and advise schools as they address behaviour that causes concern within school.

“Schools have been working in Behaviour and Attendance Partnerships in order to reduce the incidence of both fixed and permanent exclusions. The council has been working alongside these partnerships with a focus on early intervention and preventative work around behaviour and attendance.”