School exclusion rates improve


- Credit: Archant

LESS pupils are being excluded from North Somerset schools but verbal abuse towards teachers and physical assaults against other pupils are still a regular occurrence.

The latest Government figures show an improvement in exclusion rates from 730 in 2011-12 to 640 across 2012-13.

While overall figures have improved there were still 145 exclusions due to verbal assaults against adults within schools, and 156 due to physical assaults against other pupils.

A spokesman for North Somerset Council said: “Our vulnerable learners’ service works with schools to avoid exclusion wherever possible.

“The service draws on the expertise of advisory teachers with a behaviour specialism, educational psychologists, education welfare officers and the behaviour improvement programme team.”

The Voyage Learning Campus in North Somerset currently offers education and support for more than 250 young people.

The spokesman said: “Students attend the campus for a wide variety of reasons, including pupils who may have been permanently excluded from school, before later being supported into mainstream schools.”

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While the number of fixed-term exclusions has decreased, the number of permanent exclusions has risen, from 20 in 2011-12 to 30 in 2012-13.

The number of incidents relating to drug and alcohol abuse has also risen, to 24 exclusions involving drugs or alcohol in 2012-13 compared with 18 the previous year.

The spokesman said: “Through early intervention work and close partnership working between schools and other services we will strive to reduce the rates of exclusion even further.”