School Exclusion

As summer seems but a distant memory, the good news is that the long month of September is nearly over and the October half term is in sight.

However the end of September also signals the start of the exclusion season for many pupils in our schools.

School exclusions rarely happen in the month of September, statistics show.

It appears at the beginning of the school year, there is a honeymoon period when the commitment with regards to finding alternative solutions to prevent exclusion is at its best.

From October onwards however, things change and the whole process appears to gather pace.

After a period of decline we are excluding more pupils from our schools.

Figures from the national statistics from the Department of  Education on Permanent and Fixed Exclusions in England 2013 to 2014 have show an increase in permanent exclusions from 4,630 in 2012/13 to 4,950 in 2013/14.

81 per cent of these permanent exclusions occurred in secondary schools.

This proportion has decreased over recent years from a high of 87 per cent in 2009/10.

The greatest increase in the number of permanent exclusions occurred in primary schools where there were 870 permanent exclusions in 2013/14 compared to 670 in 2012/13.

Overall, “persistent disruptive behaviour” is the most common reason for permanent exclusions, accounting for 32.7 per cent of all permanent exclusions up from 30.8 per cent of permanent exclusions in 2012/13.

The number of fixed term exclusions has also increased from 267,520 in 2012/13 to 269,480 in 2013/14.

78 per cent of these fixed term exclusions occur in secondary schools, although this proportion has also decreased over recent years from 84 per cent in 2008/09.

There was a considerable rise in the number of fixed term exclusions in primary schools from 37,870 in 2012/13 to 45,010 in 2013/14.

Once again “persistent disruptive behaviour” accounts for 25.3 per cent of all fixed period exclusions, up from 24.2 per cent in 2012/13.

Boys are over three times more likely to receive a permanent exclusion and almost three times more likely to receive a fixed period exclusion than girls.

In terms of these figures, first impressions would be that things are improving in Secondary schools but are getting worse in Primary schools.

Great credit is due to the efforts of Secondary schools to reduce exclusions however, they do have a greater capacity to offer alternative provision to pupils who may be at risk, than in some Primary schools.

The key issue however as highlighted in previous articles on this issue is to fully understand what does this term “Persistent Disruptive Behaviour or PDB ” actually mean and more importantly what can we do about it.

This will part of long term process and one that I invite you to join me in trying to understand what is the underlying message of pupils exhibiting “PDB” and how we can better support their needs.

The American rock band “Green Day” have a song entitled “When September ends” …..We are nearly there.

October to July follow…..It’s a long school year……let’s work together and get those exclusion figures down.