MORE than 1,800 pupils were temporarily excluded from Sheffield secondaries during the last full school year – losing over 7,000 days of schooling as a result.
‘Persistent disruption’ was the most common reason given for students being given suspensions, with 885 cases logged.
More than 700 pupils were disciplined for verbal abuse or threatening behaviour towards members of staff, while there 695 incidents where another pupil was physically assaulted.
Verbal abuse or threatening behaviour towards other pupils accounted for 154 suspensions, while in 75 cases students physically assaulted adults.
Bullying saw 45 pupils excluded and theft 65. Fifty youngsters were suspended for cases involving drugs or alcohol, with 73 more ejected for damaging property.
There were 30 cases of sexual misconduct and 23 cases of racist abuse.
Figures obtained by The Star as part of our Your Right to Know campaign show the number of exclusions has fallen slightly over the last three years – after a peak of over 4,000 in 2009-10.
In the last full academic year that number was down to 3,158 – higher than the number of pupils expelled as some were suspended more than once. Only eight pupils were permanently excluded from school.
Sheffield’s first two academies, Sheffield Park and Sheffield Springs, were the schools where pupils were most likely to be excluded in 20010-11 – more than one in 10 being suspended, 221 in all.
Fir Vale had the third highest exclusion rate, again with over 10 per cent of students affected.
Secondaries with the lowest rates were Notre Dame, Stocksbridge, All Saints, Silverdale and King Ecgbert.
At other schools exclusion rates fell sharply last year – such as at Parkwood Academy, Chaucer and Myers Grove.
Schools have wide powers over their individual behaviour policies, but they must be written down and consistently applied.
A fixed term exclusion can be as short as half a day. If longer than five days, a school must provide work for the pupil to complete at home.
More than two-thirds of exclusions in 2010-11 were of two days or less.
Sarah Draper, a senior officer at Sheffield Council, said policies could differ widely from school to school over issues such as bullying.
She said: “The council’s powers to intervene over exclusions is fairly limited, but if they are very high that could be a symptom of other problems.”
Parkwood Academy principal Mike Westerdale said on his appointment his sole focus was improving standards of education across the board – which included standards of behaviour.
“With the hard work of the students, staff and parents, behaviour continues to improve in line with our sponsor E-ACT’s expectation,” he added.
A spokesman for the United Learning Trust, which runs Springs and Park academies, added: “Along with other schools in Sheffield, there is a sharp focus at both academies on improving behaviour and attendance.
How many pupils did your local schools exclude?