More primary school pupils are being excluded and sent home in Suffolk

Stock image. Pic: David Davies/PA Wire.

Stock image. Pic: David Davies/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Rising numbers of pupils are being excluded from primary schools in Suffolk, new figures reveal.

The number of students given at least one fixed period exclusion – temporary removal from school for up to 45 days – at primary schools in the county rose by 10% in just a year. It increased from 396 in 2013/14 to 435 in 2014/15.

However, permanent exclusions fell from 27 to 14.

Graham White, secretary of Suffolk branch of the National Union of Teachers, said: “The pressure on pupils, both in terms of a narrow and inappropriate curriculum and the inappropriate testing regime, results in some pupils becoming disaffected and disenchanted, even at primary school age. Disaffection often then results in poor behaviour. Pupils who find the curriculum or the testing too hard often resort to disruptive behaviour to cover their inability to cope with tasks.”

He added: “Some of the increase is therefore due to schools being even tighter on discipline and behaviour.”

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Schools set work for children during fixed period exclusions and mark their work. If the fixed period exclusion lasts for longer than five school days, the school must find full-time education for the child.

The number of primary school pupils in Suffolk rose by 2.8% between January 2014 and January 2015, from 53,690 to 55,216.

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Meanwhile, the number of secondary school students in Suffolk given a fixed period exclusion rose slightly from 1,212 in 2013/14 to 1,232 in 2014/15, the Department for Education (DfE) data showed.

But the overall number of fixed period exclusions fell from 2,717 to 2,598 and permanent exclusions in secondaries fell significantly from 55 to 14.

A DfE spokesman said: “Exams should not stress pupils. The best schools create a happy, safe and supportive environment.”

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