Exclusions


National data analysis has produced the following key points from the 2008/09 school year:

  • The average length of a fixed period exclusion in state funded secondary schools was 2.6 days, for primary schools the average length of a fixed period exclusion was 2.2 days.
  • The permanent exclusion rate for boys was approximately 3.5 times higher than that for girls. The fixed period exclusion rate for boys was almost 3 times higher than that for girls.
  • Pupils with SEN (both with and without statements) are over 8 times more likely to be permanently excluded than those pupils with no SEN.
  • Children who are eligible for free school meals are around 3 times more likely to receive either a permanent or fixed period exclusion than children who are not eligible for free school meals.

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Permanent exclusions

Although permanent exclusion rates (permanent exclusions are calculated by the number of pupils permanently excluded from a school over terms 1 to 6 each academic year) in England’s secondary schools are decreasing (see table below), in Bristol these rates display no clear pattern, with numbers of exclusions fluctuating erratically.

Permanent exclusions (Bristol, 2005 – 2009)

Primary Maintained Secondary Special All
2005 6 39 6 50
2006 x 52 x 60
2007 x 34 0 40
2008 10 20 0 30
2009 6 24 x 50

NB: x denotes a figure less than 5, the numbers in the ‘All’ column are rounded to the nearest 10 and include CTCs, academies and non-maintained special schools.

Secondary school permanent exclusion rates (2005 – 2009)

Source: Bristol City Council

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Other permanently excluded pupils’ characteristics differences

Although boys remain much more likely to be permanently excluded than girls, the numbers of girls receiving permanent exclusions has increased in the last three years, rising from 7 in 2007/08 to 13 in 2009/10.

34% of permanent exclusions in 2009/10 were pupils eligible for free school meals. In the previous year that figure stood at only 18%.

Pupils with SEN are considerably more likely to be permanently excluded than those that haven’t. In 2009/10 28 pupils with SEN were permanently excluded as opposed to 19 non-SEN pupils, and this despite that fact that the number of SEN pupils in our schools is significantly lower that their non-SEN counterparts.

In terms of ethnicity, in 2009/10 23.4% of permanent exclusions were for BME pupils, which is roughly what one would expect given that it is estimated that the percentage of BME pupils in our schools at present is 25%.
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Fixed-term exclusions

(Fixed-term exclusions are defined as the total number of fixed-term exclusions. A pupil may be excluded more than once, therefore it is possible for the number of exclusions as a percentage of the school population to be greater than 100%). Although there is no pattern to permanent exclusions in Bristol, there are some clear trends with respect to fixed-term exclusions, where the numbers of secondary school exclusions have decreased rapidly in the last four years, and where there has been a halving of the total number of exclusions in all schools combined:

Fixed-term exclusions (Bristol, 2005 – 2009)

Primary Maintained Secondary Special All*
2005 941 4317 351 5610
2006 N/A 3342 N/A N/A
2007 1029 2809 348 4310
2008 890 1420 270 2710
2009 686 1130 271 2830

* Includes CTCs, academies and non-maintained special schools

Because the numbers of permanent exclusions are low it is difficult to give a detailed breakdown of the reasons for these exclusions, but the main reason given is ‘persistent disruptive behaviour’. We are able to be more detailed with regards to the reasons for fixed-term exclusions, and these are detailed in the following table:

Reasons for Fixed-Term Exclusions (Bristol, 2009)

Reasons for Fixed-Term Exclusions Secondary(1) All(2)
Persistent disruptive behaviour 578 821
Verbal abuse/ threatening behaviour against an adult 401 536
Physical assault against a pupil 295 480
Verbal abuse/ threatening behaviour against a pupil 67 106
Physical assault against an adult 54 206
Damage 54 96
Theft 36 45
Drug and alcohol related 30 42
Sexual misconduct 19 22
Bullying 15 28
Racist abuse 15 21
Other 313 432

(1)  Includes middle schools as deemed, city technology colleges and academies (including all-through academies).

(2) Includes maintained primary, secondary and special schools, CTCs, academies and non-maintained special schools

Again, low numbers of permanent exclusions make an analysis by ethnicity meaningless, but for fixed-term exclusions in 2009, the following table is valid:

Ethnicity of those incurring periods of fixed-term exclusions (Bristol 2009)

Primary Secondary
White 450 800
Mixed 50 130
Asian 20 20
Black 120 160
Chinese 0 x
Other 0 9
Not known 9 17

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Other fixed term excluded pupils’ characteristics differences

If we define fixed-term exclusions as the number of pupils receiving one or more fixed term exclusion we can analyse trends amongst groups with specific characteristics. The next chart combines all five of our inequality headings into one graph:

Number of pupils with one or more FTE and pupil characteristics (Bristol, 2008 – 2010)

Source: Bristol City Council

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