Exclusions are given to children for severe or persistent breaches of school rules. In the most serious cases a pupil is permanently prevented from attending the school. In lesser cases a Head Teacher can exclude a child for a fixed period of time.
Children are most commonly excluded for an assault on a fellow pupil. This accounted for 8,000 incidents last year. The other main reason is persistent poor behaviour. But in more than 2,000 cases a teacher or other adult was attacked and children were excluded for drug and alcohol related incidents more than 1,000 times.
Figures from the Department for Education for the 2013-14 school year show that 780 pupils in London were permanently excluded, 90% of them from secondary schools, though the number from primary schools was up slightly on last year.
Nearly 35,000 fixed period exclusions were handed out, with some children sent home from school for a number of days on more than one occasion. This represents a rate of exclusion of 3.37% of the compulsory school age population compared to an average for England of 3.98%. It means the capital has the lowest rate in the country.
But the overall rate masks a variation in rates among ethnic groups. Black children are excluded at a higher rate than white, while Asian children have the lowest level of exclusion.
Across London there is a wide range in the rate of exclusion, from 6.3% in Hackney to just 1.6% in Kingston for pupils sent home for fixed terms. Across London last year nearly 94,000 school days were lost to children on temporary exclusion
To understand borough patterns for the smaller number of permanent exclusions where parents have to find an alternative school for their child Urbs looked at the data over 5 years – 2009-14. This showed 7 boroughs with more than 200 exclusions and 5 with 60 or fewer.
According to the Department of Education 14-year olds have the highest rate of exclusion and boys are 3 times more likely to be excluded as girls.