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Almost 1,000 pupils excluded last year by Islington schools

PUBLISHED: 12:55 15 May 2012

Councillor Richard Watts says Islington's schools are safe

Councillor Richard Watts says Islington's schools are safe

Archant

Carrying knives, racial slurs and violent attacks against teachers and pupils are just some of the reasons children as young as four have been excluded from Islington’s schools this year.

In 2010 to 2011 there were 936 exclusions at schools in the borough, a rise of 11 per cent from the 845 excluded in 2009 to 2010.

Problems

There were 174 exclusions for assaults on other children over the year and 52 for attacking adults in schools, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

A total of 19 children were excluded for drug and alcohol use, 10 for racial abuse, two for sexual misconduct, six for theft and a total of 205 for threatening or abusive behaviour towards staff.

While the majority of exclusions across the borough were fixed-term – meaning pupils are able to return after a short suspension period – there were dozens of cases of permanent exclusion. But the number of permanent exclusions had reduced by 50 per cent last year compared to 2009/2010.

Two children in reception received fixed-term exclusions over the last year, while the youngest to receive a permanent exclusion was in Year 6.

Richard Watts, Islington Council’s executive member for children and young people, said: “The police tell us that things like gang issues are far less serious in Islington schools than some other similar areas.

“The key point is Islington schools are safe.

“Young people are coming to school with a lot of problems and a lot of challenges. But schools do largely a brilliant job in managing that.

“We’re not complacent about all of this and obviously we work very closely with our schools to make sure they’re making appropriately tough decisions over disciplinary action and that we have referral units for when young people really can’t cope with mainstream education.”

He added: “In the highly unlikely event of a pupil carrying a knife, then we would expect the school to take the toughest action.”

In Islington there are 12,000 pupils in primary education and 7,000 at secondary schools.


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