35 pupils a day expelled from schools in England

Pupils aged 14 had the highest number of permanent exclusions
Pupils aged 14 had the highest number of permanent exclusions
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The equivalent of 35 children a day are being expelled from schools in England, official figures show.

New Government statistics reveal an increase in the number of permanent and fixed-period exclusions.

Children aged four and under were among those to face suspension or expulsion, the data shows.

Exclusions should be "lawful, reasonable and fair", the Department for Education (DfE) said, with pupils only expelled as a last resort.

In total, children at state schools in England were permanently expelled on 6,685 occasions in 2015/16, up from 5,795 the year before.

This is equivalent to around 35.2 a day in 2015/16, up from 30.5.

Most exclusions (81%) were from secondary schools, the DfE figures show.

Children were suspended from schools for a fixed period 339,360 times last year, again up on the previous year.

This is equivalent to 1,790 a day, up from around 1,590 in 2014/15.

There were rises in the number of suspensions in primaries and secondaries, the data shows, but a drop in special schools.

The data also shows:

:: Children aged four and under were expelled on 50 occasions last year, and suspended 3,035 times

:: Pupils aged 14 had the highest number of permanent exclusions (1,715) and the highest number of fixed-period exclusions (70,705)

:: Government statisticians calculated that the rate of permanent exclusions from all state schools, primary, secondary and special, is equivalent to eight pupils per 10,000, up from seven the year before

:: Longer term trends show the rate of permanent exclusions has generally been dropping since 2006/07

:: The rate of fixed-period exclusions has increased to the equivalent of 429 pupils per 10,000, up from 388 in 2014/15

:: Of the suspended pupils, 59.6% were excluded once, while 1.3% were excluded for a fixed period 10 or more times

:: The average length of a suspension was 2.2 days

A DfE spokeswoman said: "We want every child to have access to a good school place where they can learn without disruption and feel safe at school.

"The rules are clear that exclusion powers should only be used in particular circumstances and decisions to exclude should be lawful, reasonable and fair. Permanent exclusion should only be used as a last resort, in response to a serious breach, or persistent breaches, of the school's behaviour policy."