Rise in suspensions of Redbridge primary school pupils

Ricardo Robertson

Ricardo Robertson - Credit: Archant

Redbridge has the highest number of repeat suspensions by primary school children of any London borough, government statistics show.

The 109 fixed-term exclusions, from 2013 to 2014, were given to just 50 pupils, with each child being suspended on average twice in the year.

Department of Education statistics also show the number of suspensions has increased by 60 per cent, from 68 incidents between 2012 and 2013.

A Redbridge Council spokesman said: “The council is aware of the number of repeat suspensions in primary schools.

“Throughout the school year we work with staff in primary schools to provide them with additional support to enable then to avoid pupil exclusions.”

Ricardo Robertson, who has worked with schools in Redbridge to prevent students getting suspended and expelled for 12 years, described the figures as “a major concern”.

Mr Robertson said: “The problem is once a child gets suspended in primary school, you can then lose them in secondary school and it becomes hard to turn it around.”

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He continued: “I think the fact that it has increased almost two fold in primary schools shows that there is a major concern.”

Nationwide fixed-term exclusions in primary schools increased to the highest level since 2010.

Despite the rise in Redbridge, the number of secondary school pupils being suspended has dropped, and overall figures – including special needs schools –- show a reduction from 1,240 to 1,170.

A council spokesman added: “Redbridge Council works to ensure that the behaviour and achievement of pupils in the borough is excellent and this is shown through the high performance of our schools and attainment of our pupils.

“We are pleased that the number of suspensions has dropped since last year and this represents hard work by all of our schools to maintain discipline in the classroom and create a strong working environment.”