Boy, 5, expelled for hitting headmaster

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A five-year-old boy has been expelled from school after hitting his headmaster and biting another teacher.

The boy's parents are appealing against the decision to exclude their son, who was at Burrough Green Primary School, near Newmarket, Cambridgeshire. Staff and governors acted after assaults on teachers and classmates. The last straw came when the boy, who had attended the school's pre-primary class, attacked Stephen Dennington, the headmaster, and bit a learning support teacher assigned to him. The boy has been receiving lessons at home for the past three weeks.

A spokesman for the education authority said: "We're doing everything we can. Our foremost priority is the child and his future education and we're in constant contact with his parents to find a solution as quickly as possible." He said it was thought this was the first time such a young child had been excluded from one of the county's schools. The decision was made by Mr Dennington, backed by the governors and the local education authority.

It would not be right, they said, for the boy to stay at the school because of "the numerous violent and disruptive incidents" he had been involved in, including stabbing a pupil with a pencil, kicking teachers, and the latest incident, in which he bit the support assistant.

His parents say their only child has been let down by the system. They said the school knew about his behavioural difficulties before they accepted him and had not tried hard enough to cope with him.

"He has an invisible disability. He has been discriminated against because of it," said his father. "They say his mood swings and violent outbursts are unpredictable and unprovoked,which is absolute rubbish. He will never lash out unless he's provoked. They say they are frightened for the safety of the staff and other children.

The boy's expulsion follows a series of wrangles over allegedly violent pupils suspended after incidents involving teachers. In several cases school governors have readmitted the children which has led to threats of strike action by teaching unions.