Problem boys most at risk of exclusion

14th September 2001 at 01:00
BOYS aged 13 and 14 cause most trouble for secondaries in Glasgow, an unpublished city council report for headteachers confirms.

The latest analysis of exclusions, attendance and targets reveals wide disparities across schools. As expected, "big scheme" secondaries face the greatest difficulties, although some appear to be doing better than others.

Boys in second and third year are involved in around 60 per cent of exclusions with boys four times more likely to be excluded. They also account for 80 per cent of all half-days lost through exclusions, the standard measure.

Across the city, excluded pupils are down by 15 per cent on baseline figures in 1998-99. But there are still some 6,300 incidents every year. Twenty of the 29 secondaries show improvements. Ten schools are already down by 30 per cent and a further four by 20 per cent. All Saints, Hillpark, St Andrew's and Springburn are down by almost 50 per cent.

Overall, the provisional figures are said to be distorted by the number of school mergers caused by the extensive rebuilding under the public private partnership. The city average, however, is 216 exclusion incidents per 1,000 pupils. At one end is the all-girls Notre Dame High at 15 per 1,000 in contrast to Drumchapel High at 699 per 1,000.

Some 30 per cent of exclusions are for general and persistent disobedience, 13 per cent are for verbal abuse and 3 per cent for abuse. Not surprisingly, 64 per cent of those excluded are on free meals.

At the same time, attendance has improved by around 1 per cent, equivalent to an extra 300 pupils at school every day.

John Curley, senior education officer, said a small number of pupils continued to cause problems. "Of those who are excluded, 15 per cent account for 50 per cent of all exclusions, or to put it another way, fewer than 1.5 per cent of all pupils account for 50 per cent of all days lost through exclusions."

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