Violent school pupils excluded

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HUNDREDS of Wigan schoolchildren are regularly being excluded and suspended due to persistent bullying, violent behaviour toward teachers and drug use according to shocking government statistics.

A report released by the Department for Education revealed that 902 secondary and primary school pupils were suspended more than once last year by their schools for a range of violent and abusive behaviour.

In secondary schools in the borough there were 115 pupils suspended for physical assault against teachers and staff members, 67 suspensions for drug and alcohol related offences and eight suspensions involving sexual misconduct.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “Heads now have more power than ever before to ensure strong discipline in the classroom.

“We have introduced new search powers, no-notice detentions, and have ensured heads’ decisions on expulsions cannot be overruled.

“The government is tackling the causes of exclusion by improving the quality of teaching, raising standards in literacy and numeracy, tackling disadvantage through the pupil premium, overhauling the special educational needs system and making radical improvements to alternative provision.”

In September 2012, the government strengthened head teachers’ powers over exclusions by replacing the independent appeal panel with a review panel.

The independent appeal panel could overturn decisions to exclude - but the new review panel can only recommend that head teachers take a pupil back.

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: ““ATL calls for a teacher training and continuing professional development system which better informs teachers about special educational needs and teaching practices.”