EXCLUSIVE: Sheffield children excluded from classroom for assault, bullying, drink and drugs

School exlcusion figures have been released by Sheffield City Council
School exlcusion figures have been released by Sheffield City Council
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Over 100 children were permanently excluded from school in Sheffield in one year for assault, bullying, drink and drugs.

According to figures held by Sheffield Council, another 6,709 were excluded for a set period of time between 2015 and 2016 before being allowed back into lessons.

There were at least 16 primary school pupils permanently banned from city classrooms, including six for assaulting adults and 10 for disruptive behaviour.

At least another 86 secondary school pupils were permanently excluded, with 27 children accused of disruptive behaviour, 20 of assaulting fellow pupils, 13 of attacking adults and at least one of racial abuse.

Ten pupils verbally abused adults, three were involved with drunk or drugs and three caused damage to schools.

The statistics show that of the 1,021 primary school pupils excluded for a set period of time, 236 were for sent home for assaulting fellow pupils and 216 attacked adults.

Three were accused of bullying, 14 were said to have been responsible for racial abuse and 123 of being verbally abusive.

A total of 332 were said to have been disruptive in the classroom and 23 were caught causing damage.

Of the secondary 5,688 school pupils excluded temporarily, 993 assaulted other children at their schools, 121 attacked adults, 31 were accused of bullying and 71 of being racially abusive.

There were 34 pupils accused of sexual misconduct and 124 were caught with alcohol or drugs.

Another 52 pupils were sent home for theft and 61 for damaging property.

A total of 2,345 pupils were deemed disruptive and 1,137 were verbally abusive.

Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "The Department for Education must give serious and honest consideration of what is driving this general rise in the numbers of exclusions across the country.

"NUT members tell us that as the curriculum gets narrower and children’s experience of school is ever more focused on preparation for tests and exams, more students are becoming disengaged from school which in turn leads to problems with behaviour and mental health problems.

"These are the accountability drivers which are leading to this rise in figures. They must be addressed through a serious re-examination of the assessment and accountability regime and school funding.

"Cuts to school and local authority budgets have led to pastoral and mental health support services being scaled back or axed. Some schools have had to reduce the number of teaching assistants employed. This clearly has an impact on the help schools can give to individual pupils as and when the need arises.

"Schools should be places where all children can thrive and enjoy their learning in a supportive, vibrant and caring environment where they are supported to achieve their best. Instead the system is creating exam factories in which increasingly children feel demoralised while cuts to funding leave some schools without adequate support to cope with serious behavioural or mental health issues.”

A Sheffield City Council spokeswoman said: “Schools do everything they can to ensure all children and young people are in education every day and work hard to welcome and nurture their students.

"Schools use their own judgment to exclude children and no decision to exclude a child is ever made lightly.

"When a child is permanently excluded they are then offered a place in our inclusion centre. The inclusion centre provides pupils with a supportive environment within which they can continue their education. The inclusion centre then works with the child and the parents to get them back to a main stream school as soon as possible.

“In partnership with our schools we are doing a lot of work to help prevent exclusion including outreach support from two of our special schools, as well as encouraging the use of our primary inclusion panel. Primary schools can refer pupils to the panel who work with them to create an action plan which includes outreach work and often helps to avoid permanent exclusion.”