Thousands are suspended for school assaults

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FIFTY pupils a day are suspended from school for assaulting an adult, the latest official figures have revealed.

Pupils aged five to 11 were suspended 11,420 times for physical assault against an adult in state-funded primary schools in 2013/14 - up 25 per cent from the previous year.

A further 7,550 pupils from secondary and special schools were suspended for the same reason, while 51,240 pupils aged five to 16 were suspended for assault against a pupil.

In Yorkshire 170 pupils were excluded for either assaults or threatening behaviour towards pupils or adults.

Another 2,300 pupils were suspended from the region’s schools for assaulting adults. And there were 6,740 suspended for threatening adults, 5,160s suspended for assaulting pupils and another 1,190 who were removed for threatening a fellow pupil.

The figures for England from the Department for Education (DfE) also showed that Yorkshire has the highest level of pupils suspended from schools in the country but the lowest level of permanent exclusions.

There were 330 pupils permanently excluded from Yorkshire schools - 0.04 per cent of the region’s pupil population. This was lower than any other Government region in the country. However the number of pupils given fixed term exclusions was higher in Yorkshire than anywhere else.

Across the region there were 35,080 suspensions of pupils in 2013/14. This is the equivalent of 4.4 per cent of all pupils.

Permanent disruptive behaviour was the most common cause for pupils being either suspended or excluded from schools.

Nationally permanent exclusions across increased slightly compared to 2012/13, despite a general decline since 2004/05.

Thousands more pupils are being sent home from school for verbal and racial abuse, sexual misconduct and persistent disruptive behaviour.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said the figures reflected new powers for teachers that give them the “confidence” to exclude pupils. Mr Gibb said: “The figures show a slight increase in the number of fixed period and permanent exclusions, although overall they are lower than in 2010. The new freedoms and greater clarity over exclusions given to head teachers is having a positive impact on behaviour.”

Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT said poor behaviour could be a result of government cuts to public services.

He said: “It’s a challenging time for families who use and need public services facing cuts. This sometimes manifests as behaviour problems at younger ages than we might expect.”