ATL comment on pupil exclusion figures
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said:
“The latest fixed-term and permanent pupil exclusion figures make for worrying reading. Permanent exclusions are a tragedy for those children and their families and we must find a way to prevent so many from facing exclusion from school. Disruptive behaviour, physical violence and verbal abuse should not be tolerated in schools, it has a negative impact on the learning of children and puts huge pressure on teachers.
“It is essential we identify the causes of “persistent disruptive behaviour” - which is why almost a third are excluded - get underneath this label and find ways to support those children and young people. Children are most likely to be excluded in year 5 in primary school or years 9 and 10 in secondary school – what is it about our education system that doesn’t work for the children excluded at these times?
“The Government must ensure that schools have the funding and resources required so that children and young people can make the most of their education. We know that supporting children at risk of exclusion requires a huge amount of flexibility, expertise and patience, but many of these services have been reduced or cut in recent years. Ultimately this data raises a lot of difficult questions for the Government, school leaders, teachers, local authorities and parents, and we must work together to find a way to make our education system work for all our children and young people.”