Schools carried out more than 1,600 exclusions of pupils per day on average in 2014-15 – 175 more than in the previous year.
New statistics from the Department for Education show an average of 31 permanent exclusions per day and a further 1,590 temporary bans on pupils for bad behaviour – including violence, racism and drug offences – in 2014-15.
The figures show that the main reason for permanent exclusion is persistent disruptive behaviour – which accounted for 79,590 (32.8 per cent) of all exclusions.
There were also 20,700 exclusions for physical assault of an adult and 54,370 for physical assault of a child.
The figures compare with 26 permanent exclusions and 1,420 temporary exclusions per day on average in 2013-14 and represent a 12 per cent increase in the average daily exclusion rate.
Across all state-funded primary, secondary and special schools, there were 5,800 permanent exclusions in 2014-15, compared with 4,950 in 2013-14 – a rise of 17 per cent. The rate in 2014-15 is equivalent to seven pupils per 10,000.
But the DfE pointed out that the long-term trend of permanent exclusions has been downward since 2006-07.
'More powers for heads'
A spokesperson said: “We want a school system where every child feels safe and is able to learn without disruption. That’s why we’ve given headteachers more powers to tackle poor behaviour and exclude pupils if necessary, as well as introducing new training for teachers to help manage and support disruptive children.
“Our reforms will also do more to support children excluded from mainstream schools, as headteachers will retain accountability for pupils in alternative provision, and ensure high-quality teaching and a balanced curriculum for those pupils.”
The statistics also reveal the characteristics of pupils who were excluded:
- More than half of all exclusions occurred in Year 9 or above;
- Boys were more than three times more likely to be permanently excluded than girls;
- Pupils on free school meals were around four times more likely to be excluded than those who were not on free school meals;
- Pupils with special educational needs (SEN) support had the highest permanent exclusion rate and were more than seven times more likely to be permanently excluded than pupils without SEN.