Figures reveal number of Kirklees pupils excluded from schools over drug issues

Schools in Kirklees have excluded pupils for drug and alcohol issues on almost 100 occasions, figures reveal.

Sunday, 24th January 2021, 3:00 pm

A rise in the number of exclusions across England has prompted the creation of a new cross-party group of MPs, to reduce avoidable expulsions of vulnerable children.

Department for Education figures show Kirklees schools excluded students 95 times for drug and alcohol-related issues in 2018-19 – three permanently and 92 temporarily.

However, this was a decrease on the year before, when there were 114.

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Kirklees figures reveal number of pupils excluded

All exclusions occurred in state-funded secondary schools, with none in special schools or in primary schools.

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics said the statistics were “worrying”, and unless the underlying causes were addressed the number excluded may continue to rise.

The total number of exclusions nationwide also increased between 2017-18 and 2018-19, from 419,000 to 446,000, prompting the formation of an all-party parliamentary group on exclusions in recent months.

There were 4,168 total exclusions in Kirklees in 2018-19, an increase of 2% on the year before, when there were 4,073.

A DfE spokesman said: “We are clear that expulsion should only be used as a last resort, and should not mean exclusion from high quality education or support.

“We will always back headteachers to use expulsion when required as part of creating calm and disciplined classrooms, which bring out the best in every pupil.”