Rise in school exclusions due to assaults

An increasing number of students were excluded from school for assaulting an adult last year. Pictur

An increasing number of students were excluded from school for assaulting an adult last year. Picture: © Royalty-Free/Corbis - Credit: © Royalty-Free/Corbis

An increasing number of pupils were excluded from schools in North Somerset last year for assaulting adults.

Schools excluded students 90 times for assaulting teachers in 2017-2018.

This was compared to 60 the previous year - a 50 per cent rise.

Of these, 84 were temporary exclusions and six were permanent.

The Department for Education figures could include a pupil wounding, obstructing or behaving violently towards an adult.

A teaching union says Government cuts to education funding have left schools less able to help children with challenging behaviour before it escalates.

Jon Reddiford, branch secretary for North Somerset National Education Union (NEU), said: "I think there has been a rise as we have seen ongoing cuts in both general school funding, but also funding for SEND - special educational needs and disabilities - students in particular.

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"Therefore, if the needs of these students are not being met - which is more likely if there is not the funding there for the kind of support they need - and they are therefore not coping, then some sort of a violent outburst becomes more likely.

"Thus, I think the system is letting down the children with the most acute needs."

The figures include assaults by children at state-funded primary, secondary and special schools in the area.

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, said teachers often cite pupil behaviour as a reason why they walk away from the profession.

She added: "All schools should have a policy for dealing with violent incidents, and a pupil behaviour policy where teachers feel genuinely supported by school management.

"Cuts to school and local authority budgets, however, mean many support services such as behavioural specialists, who used to help in schools, have gone."

North Somerset schools excluded pupils 1,533 times in 2017-18 - 45 of these were permanent.

This was a 45 per cent increase on the previous year, when they excluded 1,059 students.

A North Somerset Council spokesman confirmed schools have access to training around behaviour management, the use of physical restraint and safeguarding.