Rising number of exclusions at Lancashire schools

Exclusions are on the rise
Exclusions are on the rise

The number of permanent exclusions from Lancashire’s schools increased last year, according to new figures.

A report presented to county hall’s education committee revealed 346 exclusions across primary, secondary and special schools in 2016/17.

The number has risen from 305 the previous year in addition to 6,700 fixed-term exclusions.

READ MORE: 6,700 disruptive children excluded from Lancashire schools
However, councillors were told the number within primary schools saw a 35 per cent drop with a new initiative - the Primary Advice and Support Service - launched in 2016, a contributory factor.

In addition, an inclusion project launched in West Lancashire saw no exclusions in that particular district last year and could be rolled out to more areas across the authority.

The report said pressure placed on children by changes to assessment measures had an impact on the rising figures.

It also said pressures on funding is “impacting on a school’s capability to fund support staff, alternative provision and additional resources.”

Speaking to the Post recently, Stephen Cox, head of Ribblesdale High School, said teachers must balance their responsibility to the majority - who have the right to a safe and good education - with the “consequences of exclusion on the minority.”

And County Coun Susie Charles, cabinet member for children and schools, said: “Decisions to exclude pupils are made by individual headteachers and only taken as a last resort.