School exclusions for bullying see signifcant drop in Havering

PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:23 07 August 2019

Hundreds of unqualified teachers were working at state schools in Newham last year, government figures show. Picture: David Davies / PA Images

Hundreds of unqualified teachers were working at state schools in Newham last year, government figures show. Picture: David Davies / PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

The number of children kicked out of school for bullying behaviour has dropped by 72per cent.

According to figures released by the Department for Education, there were 32 instances of fixed term exclusions for bullying from schools in Havering in 2016/17.

That number went down to nine instances in 2017/18.

Overall 1,079 pupils were excluded for a fixed period of time in 2017/18, down from 1,432 in 2017/16.

A Fixed Term Exclusion (FTE) refers to a pupil who is excluded from a school for a set period of time.

It can involve a part of the school day and it does not have to be for a continuous period.

Ten students were temporarily excluded for sexual misconduct and 16 for racist abuse in 2017/18.

The number of FTEs for physical assault against a pupil dropped from 248 to 228 across the years in the same period, and FTEs for persistent disruptive behaviour dropped from 246 to 194.

Councillor Robert Benham, Havering's cabinet member for education, children and families, said: "Reducing the number of school exclusions has been a major goal for us, so we're extremely pleased to see a decline in the number.

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"We've been working closely with our partners in health, policing and social work to find ways to support children to stay in school or to make alternative arrangements.

"In the majority of cases, we've been able to turn things around by speaking to headteachers, to look at the child's individual needs and decide the best move, as some pupils who bully have undiagnosed needs.

"We have also introduced mentors to work with some vulnerable and difficult pupils.

"If we didn't have this process in place, it's likely that the number of exclusions would have been higher than they are."

Across the country, the national average number of exclusions for bullying dropped by 14pc between the two school years.

In 2017-18, there were 3,660 exclusions in English schools which was fewer than in 2016-17, when there were 4,275 cases recorded.

The best local authority at tackling bullying was Bracknell Forest in Berkshire.

Dr Nick Smith, principal at Oxford Home Schooling, said: "The sad truth is that bullying is rife across English schools - in fact, our previous research revealed that more than three in five Brits were bullied at least once while in education.

"However, it is encouraging to see that in many areas the numbers of exclusions for bullying are decreasing.

"While this doesn't necessarily mean that bullying is becoming less of an issue, it might suggest that schools are taking measures to deal with the problem, rather than just removing the children involved."

To see which local authorities in each region have performed best over recent years, visit this website.

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