School children suspended daily for attacking teachers

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Eight children a day are being suspended from primary school in their first year for attacking a teacher.

Figures show four are also sent home daily for lashing out at another pupil, with the same number punished for uncontrollable behaviour.

The number of Reception-year suspensions – usually involving children aged four or five – has trebled in the last decade.

Experts say poor parenting and poverty are factors, as well as the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Government statistics show there were also cases that involved theft, vandalism – and even racist abuse and sexual misconduct.

And there were 14 incidents of children threatening to use a weapon.

Another 828 saw pupils sent home for persistently causing trouble and seven where they were already starting to bully a classmate.

Christopher McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, called the shocking figures “a badge of shame for broken Britain”.

He added: “A minority of parents must take some of the blame for this symptom of the social breakdown around us but poverty is a factor, too.”

“The lockdown was a disaster for children, especially for the youngest and most under-privileged. They missed out on mixing with other children and some are lashing out.”

The figures, which relate to the school year 2020-21, show there were 4,022 suspensions – up from 1,190 ten years ago.

There have been particularly sharp increases in youngsters suspended for verbal abuse and persistent trouble-making.

Five children were sent home for sexual misconduct in class, three for racist behaviour and two for abuse over to disability or sexuality.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “More than nine in ten primary schools are judged as good or outstanding in their management of ‘behaviour and attitudes’ by Ofsted.”

“We back headteachers to take the action required to maintain calm and supportive classroom environments.”

“Our recently strengthened behaviour guidance is clear that when children do misbehave, schools should respond promptly and 
consider how this behaviour can be prevented from recurring, including through sanctions, suspensions and permanent exclusions where appropriate as a last resort.”

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