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Number of children suspended from school skyrockets

PUBLISHED: 10:28 25 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:39 25 July 2019

The number of primary school and secondary school pupils suspended in Norfolk rose by more than a quarter between 2016/17 and 2017/18, according to the Department for Education. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The number of primary school and secondary school pupils suspended in Norfolk rose by more than a quarter between 2016/17 and 2017/18, according to the Department for Education. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The number of children suspended from schools in Norfolk shot up by more than 25pc last year.

According to the Department for Education, 6,743 pupils were suspended (temporarily excluded) in the 2017/18 academic year - 1,749 in primary schools and 4,994 in secondary schools.

This is a rise of almost 27pc from the previous year when 5,325 children - 1,134 in primary and 4,191 in secondary schools - were suspended.

The data released on Thursday also shows a rise in the number of expulsions (permanent exclusions) in Norfolk's schools.

In total 212 pupils - 47 from primary school and 165 from secondary school - were expelled in 2017/18, up from 202 the previous year.

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The total gives Norfolk a higher permanent exclusion rate than in 2016/17, when it was ranked third worst of any rural county in England after Lancashire and Bedfordshire.

The county's permanent exclusion rates for 2017/18 for primary school pupils (0.07pc) and secondary school pupils (0.36pc) are far above the national averages of 0.03pc and 0.2pc respectively.

But the total is below the high recorded in the 2015/16 academic year, when 247 pupils were expelled from schools in Norfolk.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "Although exclusion rates remain lower than 10 years ago, we have been clear that exclusion from school should not mean exclusion from education.

"Headteachers do not take the decision to exclude lightly and we will continue to back them in using permanent exclusion as a last resort."

Has your child been expelled or suspended from school? How has it affected their learning? Email bethany.whymark@archant.co.uk.

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