When girls are excluded

Far fewer girls are excluded from school than boys. Schools vary greatly in the number of girls they exclude but say that the reasons are much the same for both sexes.

These are among findings by Gwynedd Lloyd, of Moray House Institute in Edinburgh, who collected statistics from 60 primaries and 116 secondaries. Only 8 per cent of pupils excluded from primary were girls. In secondary, the figure was 23 per cent.

Ms Lloyd said that there appeared to be a higher proportion of girls excluded in Scotland than in the rest of Britain. But most experienced only one exclusion.

For girls friendships were highly valued: they resented being "slagged off" and fallings-out were often about boys. But schools reported that the main reasons for exclusion were usually the same as for boys - fighting or assaults, followed by disruptive behaviour.

A secondary assistant headteacher said: "One girl just runs rings round you and she appears, she disappears and she is basically just raising her fingers to the system. So although it looks like (exclusion) is for persistent truancy, it is for persistent disregard for any system the school has for discipline. "

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