by timpickstone on 28 February, 2017
At the last full meeting of Bury Council, Lib Dem Councillor and School Governor Steve Wright asked a question about the increases in permanent and fixed term exclusions in Bury schools (pupils being ‘expelled’ or ‘suspended’). We understand that these figures have been rising and compare unfavourably with with other local authority areas.
Question: Could the Leader inform members on the numbers of permanent and temporary exclusions from Bury schools in this and the previous three years? How does this level of exclusion compare to other authorities in the region?
Answer: “In 2013/14 the number of permanent exclusions was 26, with 1371.5 days lost to fixed exclusion. In 2014/15 the number of permanent exclusions rose to 54 as did the number of fixed term exclusions where 1811.5 days were lost. Whilst the number of permanent exclusions fell slightly to 51 in 2015/2016 the worrying upward trend in fixed term exclusions continued when a total of 2173 days were lost. In 2016/17 to date there have been 40 permanent exclusions and 1249 days lost to fixed term exclusion. These figures suggest that previous totals will be surpassed by the end of the academic year.
Data from other local authorities in the region is not available however anecdotal feedback from the North West Exclusion Network indicates that similar spikes in both primary and secondary level exclusions are being experienced elsewhere. It should be noted that direct comparisons between local authority areas are difficult given the different ways that each authority handles exclusions e.g. use of a “managed move” approach to reduce the reported number of exclusions in some areas.”
Obviously there are cases where and an exclusion is the correct course of action to take, and head teachers will only take this course of action where they feel this is the right thing to do in the circumstances. We should, however, be concerned about rising numbers and why this is happening, which is something we will continue to raise with the Council and on School Governing bodies.
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