School exclusions drop in Redbridge thanks to ‘significant’ efforts, report reveals

The number of Redbridge pupils excluded for bullying has dropped. Picture: Barry Batchelor/ PA Image

The number of Redbridge pupils excluded for bullying has dropped. Picture: Barry Batchelor/ PA Images - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

A drop in the number of children kicked out of school for bullying behaviour in Redbridge has been welcomed by the council.

Between 2016-17 and 2017-18, the total number of children excluded from schools in the borough as a result of bullying decreased by 39per cent.

According to figures released by the Department for Education this week, there were 28 students excluded from schools in Redbridge in 2016-17. That number went down to 17 in 2017-18.

Overall, 1,466 pupils were excluded in 2017-18, down from 1,577 in 2016-17.

Reasons included physical assault, threatening behaviour, racist abuse and persistent disruptive behaviour.

Twenty pupils were excluded for sexual misconduct in 2017-18, up from 13 the year before, the figures reveal. The number of exclusions for physical assault against another pupil also increased from 355 to 427 in the same period, and exclusions for racist abuse jumped from 16 to 27.

Public health approaches to tackling gang and youth violence have long recognised the link between children being excluded from school and them later getting caught up in the gang lifestyle.

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The drop in exclusions for bullying was welcomed by Redbridge Council, but the authority was keen to point out that cuts to its overall budget by central government may impact its ability to keep exclusion rates "comparatively low" in future.

Across the country, the national average number of exclusions for bullying dropped by 14pc between the two school years.

In 2017-18, there were 3,660 exclusions in English schools (70 a week) which was fewer than in 2016-17, when there were 4,275 cases recorded (82 a week).

A spokesman for Redbridge Council said: "We are pleased the number of exclusions for bullying has dropped, which is because of the significant efforts and hard work by all our schools in creating a safer environment for all our children. Although this figure has reduced and exclusions overall in our schools remain comparatively low, we continue to be concerned that reductions in council and school budgets from central government are not enabling us to make the interventions that might best prevent this course of action."