Hundreds of pupils excluded for assault

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Posed picture

ALMOST 240 pupils in Wigan have been excluded for assaulting a classmate or staff member in the last year.

Shocking figures released under Freedom of Information rules reveal that from September 2014 to May 2015, 1,061 youngsters were suspended for a fixed term at school.

And some of these were suspended more than once, as there was a total of 1,494 exclusions.

The most prevalent reason was physical assaults, with 174 against a pupil and 67 against an adult.

The next most common cause was verbal abuse, with 225 students sanctioned for making threats to a staff member and a further 52 for causing distress to a pupil.

A total of 221 youths were suspended for persistent disruptive behaviour and 36 were temporarily told to leave following acts relating to drugs and alcohol.

Five youths were excluded because of sexual misconduct and 11 pupils had committed racial abuse.

Theft was another reason for a temporary bar, with 18 crimes acted upon in this way, and a further 28 youngsters were penalised for causing damage.

Bullying was the reason for 11 students’ exclusion.

And a total of 213 teenagers were suspended for undisclosed reasons, categorised as “other.”

Encouragingly the number of exclusions has gone down over the last four years,

The previous academic year of 2013/14 recorded 1,752, with 1,229 pupils suspended.

Of these, 263 had verbally abused a staff member and 48 had threatened a pupil.

As many as 204 youths had attacked a classmate and 78 had assaulted a teacher. The number of teenagers suspended over sexual misconduct was 11, and 14 youths were in trouble over racial harassment.

A total of 85 students were excluded over consuming or possessing drugs or alcohol in school premises.

A Wigan Council spokesman said: “The fact that the use of fixed term exclusions is decreasing is good news for parents and pupils.

“The causes of this type of disruptive behaviour can be extremely complex; there are few simple solutions. Managing it effectively takes a great deal of patience, skill and experience.

“Schools are required to have strategies in place to intervene early and avoid exclusions where possible.

“We are confident that by continuing to work in partnerships with our schools in Wigan that these figures will continue to reduce.”