The number of permanent exclusions in Southwark secondary schools has jumped in the last three years – with rates now above London and national averages.
According to government data analysed by Southwark Council, eighteen secondary school pupils were permanently excluded in 2014/2015, a figure which had leapt to 47 in the school year ending in 2018 Taking into account growing pupil numbers, the rate of permanent exclusions still shows a sharp increase in the last three years after a previous decline.
Data shows in the academic year 2012/13 the borough’s secondary school exclusion rate was 0.17. In the academic year ending in 2018 the same figure was a rate of 0.29.
Permanent exclusions have been linked to gang crime and as those finding themselves outside mainstream education are vulnerable to groomers. It also has long-term consequences for their education and future attainment in life.
As the News has reported, Southwark Council has urged families affected by exclusions to share their experiences as part of its ongoing commission into the issue.
The vast majority of permanent exclusions involve secondary-age children. In the school year ending in 2018, out of all 49 children permanently excluded, just two were Southwark primary pupils.
Listed reasons included physical assaults against other pupils (in eleven cases) or against adults (in six), persistent disruptive behaviour, verbal abuse and threatening behaviour, and drugs and alcohol also feature. Fifteen cases are listed as “other”.