80,000 pupils suspended for school violence

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The Independent Online

Children were suspended from school on more than 80,000 occasions last year for attacking teachers and classmates, official figures showed today.

In England's primary schools alone, youngsters were excluded for a fixed period nearly 17,000 times for these reasons, while in secondary schools pupils were suspended 63,300 times.

Primary age pupils were permanently expelled 320 times for attacking teachers and other children, and secondary school pupils 1,450 times.

The statistics, published by the Department for Education, reveal large numbers of young children are still being suspended for bad behaviour.

Some 1,250 children aged four or under, including 1,100 boys, were given fixed period exclusions in 2008-09, while five-year-olds were suspended 2,840 times.

The figures, which are for England only, show primary and secondary schools suspended pupils 89,870 times for verbally abusing or threatening teachers and other youngsters.

The most common reason for exclusion was persistent disruptive behaviour, which accounted for 29.6% of expulsions and nearly one in four (23.3%) suspensions.

Overall, the number of times primary school pupils were suspended in 2008-09 fell to 39,510 from 43,290 in 2007-08, while in secondary schools there were 307,840 suspensions, compared with 324,180 in 2007-08.

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