East Riding schools excluded 100 pupils for assaulting adults last year, new figures show

Unions are asking for more funding to deal with challenging behaviour.
Unions are asking for more funding to deal with challenging behaviour.

Schools in the East Riding of Yorkshire excluded 100 pupils for assaulting adults last year, figures reveal.

Teaching unions say government cuts to education funding have left schools less able to help children with challenging behaviour before it escalates.

Department for Education data shows that the East Riding of Yorkshire’s schools excluded students 100 times for assaulting adults in 2017-18, a substantial rise from 72 the previous year.

Of these, 95 were temporary exclusions and five were permanent.

Physical assault can mean a pupil wounding, obstructing and jostling, or behaving violently towards an adult. The figures include assaults by children at state-funded primary, secondary and special schools in the area.

The East Riding of Yorkshire schools excluded pupils 2,062 times in 2017-18 – 34 of these were permanent.

This was a 27% increase on the previous year, when they handed out 1,630.

The rise in exclusions in the East Riding of Yorkshire reflects the trend across England, where the total rose by 7% to 419,000.

General secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, Geoff Barton, said school leaders have a duty to keep their staff and pupils safe.

He added: “Schools are working hard to avoid having to exclude pupils, but the Government must do more to back them up, with an improved level of funding for education and investment in local services, which provide support to vulnerable families and children.”

A DfE spokesperson said schools have a duty to protect pupils and staff, and added that the department will continue to back leaders in using permanent exclusion as a last resort.

They added: “There is no right number of exclusions, and although exclusion rates remain lower than 10 years ago, we have been clear that exclusion from school should not mean exclusion from education.”