Barking and Dagenham schoolchildren better behaved than peers, exclusion figures reveal
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Schoolchildren in the borough are better behaved than peers across the capital, government figures reveal.
In total state-funded primaries, secondaries and special schools in Barking and Dagenham issued a total of 798 fixed period exclusions punishing 493 youngsters out of 42,944 by telling them to stay away from school for up to five days. The third lowest among outer London boroughs.
Of the total 104 exclusions were for assaulting and 120 for verbally absuing an adult.
Nationally, fixed term and permanent exclusions have risen for the last five years from 7,616,870 in 2012-13 to 8,025,075 last year.
London regional secretary for the National Union of Teachers Martin Powell-Davies said: “Schools are under enormous pressure. They are being told that if they fail to reach externally imposed targets for exam results at primary or secondary school they risk being deemed failing schools.
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“Yet at the same time the government is cutting back on support services that local authorities previously had funding for.”
As a result students with behavioural, mental health or special educational needs failed to get the support they needed in the classroom, Mr Powell-Davies said.
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“For some schools the only way they can cope is to exclude rather than give the support they would like to,” he added.
And he predicted exclusions could increase if the funding pressures on school worsen.
He said: “We have got more alienated pupils not enjoying school because teachers are driven to teach to the test. That provides an environment which is harder for students who are struggling. They can feel demoralised. That creates behavioural issues.”
Of the outer London boroughs Enfield issued the most (2,951) while Kingston upon Thames issued the least fixed term exclusions, 380.
In the borough there were 29 permanent exclusions – where children were kicked out of a school.
Schools minister Nick Gibb said: “We want every child to benefit from a world class education, with the right support in place, so they have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
“Schools should only use permanent exclusions as a last resort but we do support teachers in taking proportionate steps.”