Primary and secondary schools in Doncaster excluded pupils for sexual misconduct, latest figures reveal

Schools in Doncaster excluded pupils for sexual misconduct on a dozen occasions in just one year, figures reveal.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 3:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 3:54 pm

Department for Education figures show Doncaster schools excluded students 12 times for sexual misconduct in 2018-19 – two permanently and 10 temporarily.

This was unchanged from both the previous year, and 2016-17.

Of the exclusions in 2018-19, the vast majority (10) occurred in state-funded secondary schools and two in primary schools.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

school scene
school scene

They were among 1,972 sexual misconduct exclusions – which include incidents of sexual abuse, sexual bullying and sexual harassment – across England that year.

The charity Rape Crisis said the national number of exclusions will not show the true scale of sexist bullying and sexual violence being perpetrated in schools, particularly against girls.

Katie Russell, national spokeswoman for the charity, added: "We’ve known for a number of years about the high prevalence and serious impacts of sexual violence and abuse in schools.

"The Women and Equalities Select Committee published a comprehensive report into this issue with clear recommendations back in 2016, some of which are yet to be implemented.

"No-one in the Government can claim not to have known about this situation and action clearly should have been taken before now.”

More than 14,000 testimonies have been posted on the Everyone’s Invited website, where pupils can anonymously share their experiences of abuse and assault.

Some students have accused their establishments of not tackling a “rape culture”.

Website founder Soma Sara said the number of students who have the confidence to report incidences of sexual misconduct pales in comparison to the number who have suffered.

The Government announced an immediate review into sexual abuse in schools in the wake of the allegations, while an NSPCC helpline and an Ofsted review were also launched.

Overall, Doncaster schools excluded pupils 9,149 times in 2018-19 – 9,047 of which were fixed, and 102 permanent.

A Government spokeswoman said: “Where schools do not meet the strict safeguarding standards that we have in place, we will take swift action and we will always back headteachers to remove a pupil from the classroom where this creates a calm and disciplined environment.

“We would encourage anyone who is aware of any specific incidents – and feels comfortable reporting their concerns – to do so.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.