Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Teesside Driving National Increase in Pupil Exclusions

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Teesside Driving National Increase in Pupil Exclusions

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES CAIN Local democracy reporter james.cain@reachplc.com @JIMMYMCAIN

A SPIKE in school exclusions on Teesside last year was so high that it drove an increase in the national statistics.

A Government report has revealed that increases in fixed period pupil exclusions during the 2017/18 school year "particularly in Hartlepool, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland" had driven an increase in national rates.

Figures from the Department of Education revealed the total numbers of fixed period exclusions - formally known as suspensions - given to pupils last year.

Stockton's schools issued 5,505 temporary exclusions, in Hartlepool it was 4,868, in Redcar 4,350 and in Middlesbrough 4,075.

Published on July 25, the Department of Education's report, Permanent and Fixed Period Exclusions 2017 to 2018, said that while national permanent exclusion rates remained stable, the rate of fixed period exclusions had increased overall.

The report said: "The region with the highest fixed period exclusion rate is the North-east, which has seen a large increase from 592 per 10,000 pupils in 2016/17 to 934 per 10,000 in 2017/18.

"This has been the main driver in the national increase."

"The increase in fixed period exclusions rates has been driven by increases in the North-east, particularly in Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar and Cleveland local authorities," the report added.

Last year, the authors of a Stockton Council report said they were "very concerned" about the number of exclusions within the borough after it emerged that two Stockton schools had excluded more than one in every three pupils in the academic year.

On Tuesday, Cllr Lisa Evans, the council's cabinet member for children and young people, said: "We're fully aware of the increase in fixed term exclusions over this period and indeed we were concerned enough to make it one of the focal points of a recent scrutiny review by our Children and Young People Select Committee. …

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