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Department for Children, Schools and Families
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Primary school exclusions

Date requested: April 16, 2007


The Department was asked about school exclusions in Primary schools in England.


Data relates to 2004/05.  Where available, the figures for 2003/04 are also included, in brackets.  We do not yet have data available for 2005/06: these are expected to be published towards the end of June.


  1. On how many occasions were children the subject of fixed-term exclusions? 43,720, (41,300)
  2. On how many occasions were children the subject of permanent exclusions? 1,090, (1,270) 
  3. On how many occasions were children in the Reception Year the subject of fixed-term exclusions? 960 (1,180)
  4. On how many occasions were children in the Reception Year the subject of permanent exclusions? 60 (20)
  5. How many children from all years in primary school were the subject of fixed term exclusions for (i) racist abuse 330, (ii) sexual misconduct 310 and (iii) drugs and alcohol related incidents? 150
  6. Of the total number of children who were subject to fixed-term exclusions what was the breakdown between boys and girls? 42,140 boys, 4,220 girls  (39,510 boys, 4,280 girls) - these figures include those of primary age at special schools
According to Ofsted, behaviour in primary schools has improved significantly. In 2005/06, the proportion of primary schools judged to have unsatisfactory behaviour was less than half of one percent compared with 2% in 1997/98.   These new figures reflect the tough approach that many primary schools are taking to tackle bad behaviour. We?ve also just enacted legislation which includes powers to use reasonable force to restrain pupils (e.g. to break up fights), and a clear statutory power to discipline pupils without parental consent. Together these will give teachers greater scope to nip bad behaviour in the bud, and prevent it reaching the point where exclusion becomes the only appropriate response.   Parents must play a key role in cases of serious misbehaviour too, especially at this young age ? we need parents working with schools, not against them. From September, primary and secondary schools will be required to hold reintegration interviews with parents of children returning to school after a fixed period exclusion to see how best they can work with the school to address the child's poor behaviour. Heads will also be able to draw up earlier parenting contracts to nip behaviour problems in the bud and, where parents do not cooperate, seek court-imposed parenting orders to compel them to do so.

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