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(UK) Kirklees: Twice as many students expelled; "special needs most often"

Mar 21, 2023, Yorkshire Live: 'Devastating impact' as school pupils expelled in Kirklees 'twice as often'

N. England

The rate of expulsion in Kirklees’ Schools is double the national average, shows a council report.

The “devastating impact” that permanent exclusion can have on a person's future life chances was discussed at today’s (March 20) meeting of Kirklees Council’s Children’s Scrutiny Panel. Permanent exclusion is linked to poorer life chances and is shown to exacerbate mental health issues.

Each year, 8,000 children are permanently expelled from schools across the UK with many of these children ending up in ‘alternative provision’ (AP). AP settings are schools that cater for children unable to attend mainstream schools.

According to the report, just one in 20 children who finish their education in AP pass their English and Maths GCSEs and half of those educated in such settings are not in education, employment, or training six months after leaving. Four in 10 prisoners report having been permanently excluded from school.

All of these factors are said to put vulnerable children at greater risk of criminal exploitation. In Kirklees, expulsion rates have increased in recent years. Data show in 2021/22 68 permanent exclusions took place across all school phases equating to 0.10% of all pupils attending school within the district. This compares to a national average of 0.05% in 2020/21.

58 of these cases occurred in years 7 to 11 and 57 of those excluded were male students. In these instances, the most common reasons for exclusion are physical assault against a pupil (21), physical assault against an adult (15), and persistent disruptive behaviour (13).

The report to the panel shows that as well as being male and at a secondary school, those most often expelled include students with Special Educational Needs, children who are eligible for free school meals and those living in the Dewsbury West ward. This is due to a school with a particularly high number of exclusions and suspensions.

However, the proportion of permanent exclusions in Kirklees’ primary schools is below the national average and no exclusions have taken place in the district’s Special Schools for at least 16 years….


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