Primary school suspensions in Havering rise by more than a third

Cllr Meg Davis

Cllr Meg Davis - Credit: Archant

The number of primary school suspensions in Havering, from 2013 to 2014, has risen by 38 per cent on the previous year.

Department of Education statistics show there were 112 fixed-term exclusions given to 76 pupils, up from 81 by 51 pupils.

The percentage of primary school pupils being suspended has risen from 0.41pc to 0.54pc.

While Havering is above the nationwide average rise of 18pc, it is much lower than neighbouring boroughs such as Redbridge.

Cllr Meg Davis, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “It is very important that children go to school and get their education, and that is why we are looking at new ways in which we can work with schools to reduce expulsions and improve behaviour and attendance.”

Cllr Linda Van den Hende (EHRG, Upminster), an ex-governor at Dycorts special needs school, in Harold Hill, said it was “worrying.”

Cllr Van den Hende said: “We have got the fastest growing primary school intake in London.

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“We are having to build primary school buildings in green spaces and the number of free space is being reduced.”

Despite these figures, overall suspensions – including secondary schools and special needs schools – dropped by 50 incidents, from 1,100 between 2012 and 2013.

Suspensions for assaults against pupils and disruptive behaviour reduced from the previous year, but verbal assaults against adults increased by 7.5pc.

More worryingly, physical assaults against adults almost doubled, rising from 29 cases in 2012/ 2013, to 52 the next academic year.

There was no change in the number of permanent exclusions.