THE number of pupils excluded from Coventry schools is rising alarmingly after falling for years, we can reveal.
New figures from the last school year, 2013/14, record a significant increase of 12 per cent from the previous year.
There were 1668 exclusions of five days or less, compared with 1465 the previous year.
And the number of permanent and fixed term exclusions of more than 15 days for the most serious incidents increasing from 21 to 30 – a four-year high.
Previously, Coventry’s school exclusion rate had been slightly less than the national average.
But the figures reverse a trend of a fall in number of exclusions in Coventry since 2009/10, when there was a high 2000 exclusions.
Special schools saw a decrease in fixed term exclusions and have seen no permanent exclusions for eight years.
The high figures four years ago prompted a citywide policy of seeking to cut the use of exclusions, avoid permanent exclusions and improving pupil behaviour.
Heads and schools agreed to work in partnership with the council to provide more support for challenging pupils within mainstream schools before alternative settings were considered.
The problem is rising in both secondary and primary schools.
Primary schools saw a massive increase to 299 exclusions of five days or less, up from 220 the previous year, and nine permanent exclusions.
A council officers’ report to councillor David Kershaw, cabinet member for education, states: “Analysis by gender for 2013/14 shows that in primary and secondary schools the proportion of girls or boys excluded remains little changed, with boys making up most or all of the exclusions.
“White British pupils still make up the vast majority of those excluded for a fixed term period from primary and secondary schools.”
They make up two thirds of exclusions from primary schools even though white British boys are only half of the primary school population.
The report continues: “Black Caribbean pupils are also over represented in the primary exclusion data in that they make up 0.8 per cent of the population, but make up 5 per cent of pupils with fixed term exclusions.”
The majority of secondary pupils having one or more exclusions were in Years 8, 9, 10 and 11, making up 86 per cent of all fixed term exclusions.