Parents and Doncaster Council react after shock stats show borough schools expel more children than any other in England

Doncaster schools expel more children than any other in England, new Government figures show.

Thursday, 2nd August 2018, 3:38 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd August 2018, 3:43 pm
Doncaster schools dished out 9,707 expulsions in one year. The most in England.

Department for Education data shows 9,707 exclusions were dished out in 2016/2017 - nearly 2,000 more than second-placed Birmingham.

Doncaster Council has said they are 'greatly concerned' and has 'action plans' in place to tackle the problem.

This averages to 50 children being excluded from Doncaster schools on every school day last year and the equivalent of 20 exclusions for every 100 pupils,

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Each excluded pupil received an average of 4.2 exclusions over the school year, and lost around six days of teaching apiece.

The number of exclusions is an increase of 58 per cent from the previous year when 6,153 exclusions were recorded, and more than three times the level it was at five years ago.

Statistics also show schools expelled children on 125 occasions since 2010 for 'sexual misconduct' and 193 times for 'racist abuse' since.

Although the school population has been increasing at the same time, the rate at which exclusions have increased is higher than the rate of population growth.

The majority of the exclusions in 2016-17 were in secondary schools, with 622 in primary schools and eight in special schools, which cater for pupils with special education needs or disabilities.

This equated to a rate of 51 exclusions per 100 pupils in the area's secondary schools.

The most common reason for a child to be excluded from a school in Doncaster was for persistent disruptive behaviour which accounted for 49 per cent of exclusions.

Many people on social media reacted to the news and some said schools were writing off children too soon and some blamed parents.

Jeanette Harrison said: "My son is part of the total weekly figure, every week. He’s on the pathway, a lot is beyond his control, so the schools trust has hired staff to the crack the whip and exclude when there’s a melt down, misunderstanding or an anxious moment. Why not employ extra SEN staff? Power tripping egotistical fools."

Craig Chappell added: "This tendency to write people off, without finding out about root causes of their behaviour, is alarming.

Linda Lancaster posted: "Exclusion does not work. Separation in class, break and lunch time detentions and after school - detentions work best. More time in school not less.

Rachel Dixon said: "Parents should take more responsibility instead of expecting schools to deal with their behaviour! Teachers can't raise their voice nowadays without parents storming in and kicking off!"

Vicki Farmer added: "My daughter got excluded for one day because she forgot to hand her homework in. Ridiculous!"

Karen Pattison posted: "They excluded my son at Don Valley for not focusing when his Granny literally died in front of him. I ended up pulling him out of school as he ended up with severe anxiety. How's that for education?"

John Griffiths said: "I heard a teacher trying to talk to two parents about their child's behaviour. What did they do? Just walked off. Don't blame the teachers if they can't behave let them go somewhere more suited."

Riana Nelson, assistant director of partnerships and operational delivery at Doncaster Council, said: “We are greatly concerned about the high levels of fixed term exclusions in some of our local academies and schools, during the 2016/17 academic years. Although this growth is replicated nationally we know that our schools and academies can all benefit from stronger support and improved practices.

“All of the academies across the borough set their own behaviour policies but we are committed to working with them to improve outcomes for young people. We have recently launched a Behaviour Transformation Strategy which sets out how we will work with all academies, schools and other partners in order to develop stronger and more inclusive practice in schools.

"Additionally Doncaster is now designated as a Social Mobility Opportunity Area with the main goal being to improve outcomes for our disadvantaged children and young people. A key focus of this work is to improve attendance and prevent exclusions so Doncaster children have access to the best education and improved life chances.”

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: "Schools should only use permanent exclusions as a last resort but we do support teachers in taking proportionate and measured steps to ensure good behaviour in schools.

“Whilst we know there has been an increase in exclusions there are still fewer than the peak ten years ago.

"We recognise some groups of pupils are more likely to be excluded than others which is why we launched an externally-led review to look at how schools are using exclusions and why certain groups are disproportionately affected."