Hackney’s school exclusions are highest in the capital

Pupil sitting exam

Pupil sitting exam - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Hackney has the highest number of pupils excluded from state-funded secondary schools in inner London.

The latest government figures, published in July 2014 show that in the year 2012 to 2013 a staggering 12 per cent of pupils in state-funded secondary schools had been excluded for a fixed term.

Fixed term exclusion is when a pupil is not allowed to attend school for a set period of time.

Pupils can be excluded for a fixed term more than once.

The total exclusion time in a single school year cannot be more than 45 school days.

A report published by think tank, Demos, proposed to abolish school exclusion because it “punished vulnerable children”.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “The report identifies an issue often raised by our members that there are delays and a lack of support in the system when it comes to meeting schools’ needs for extra resources in respect of children’s emotional and behavioural difficulties.

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“There are many helpful suggestions in the report but all of them involve extra resources. It would make more sense to invest in keeping young people in school rather than spending more money on them once they have been excluded.

“However, the measures outlined in the report should not be at the expense of removing the rights of schools to permanently exclude. It is an action of last resort which is necessary to protect the learning and well being of other children as well as staff.”

Jamie Duff of Hackney NUT, said: “Schools in Hackney are increasingly under pressure to meet targets and drive up results. The government’s attempt to introduce an education market with free schools and academies is worsening the situation and increasing competition.

“Schools are increasingly concerned with their place in the league tables. Keeping our young people in education should be the priority. Schools need the resources to effectively manage children’s emotional and behavioural problems. If the government continues with its ideological attack on state education and persists with unnecessary cuts to school budgets we are likely to see even more exclusions.”