NEW FIGURES: More than 100 cases of physical assault in North Somerset schools in the past year
PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 October 2016
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Physical assault, verbal abuse and drugs and alcohol were some of the reasons for close to 800 pupils being excluded or expelled from schools in North Somerset in the past year.
These statistics include all 77 state-funded secondary, primary and special schools in the district.
There were 750 cases of pupils being temporarily excluded from school.
However, 40 children were permanently expelled from classrooms in 2015 – compared to 30 in 2013 and 2014.
Shockingly, there were more than 100 cases of exclusion resulting from physical assaults against an adult or fellow pupil, 40 incidents involving drugs and alcohol and 20 of bullying. There were also 10 cases of racial abuse.
Jon Reddiford, North Somerset’s division secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: “Disruptive behaviour is often a result of students not being able to fully access the curriculum. What these students need is proper support.”
Mr Reddiford said there is increasing pressure on schools to deliver results.
He said this behaviour may result in exclusion as these students will then not be a part of the school’s final results.
He added: “This pressure, combined with ever decreasing funding and lack of staff to support such students means exclusion is sometimes an easy way out.
“No school does this lightly, but the statistics show over time there are more of this type of exclusion. Excluding is a short-term fix which creates more long-term problems”
A spokesman for North Somerset Council said: “We work closely with all schools to do everything we can to prevent young people being excluded. Our education welfare team meet with professionals who work with children and families, including headteachers, to discuss children at risk of exclusion and identify possible interventions.
“Permanent exclusions are only agreed as a final resort after a variety of interventions and support packages have been tried.”