Grimsby

High exclusion rates spark crime fears in North East

Councillors have raised fears that high school exclusion levels in the district could lead to damaged educations, criminal behaviour and costs to the council.

A motion before North East Lincolnshire Council next Thursday asks the authority to call on schools to only use the punishment as ‘a last resort’.

It follows an investigation by The Guardian which revealed that dozens of schools, including Ormiston Maritime Academy and John Whitgift Academy in Grimsby, were excluding more than 20% of the pupils.

The Gainsborough Academy, in Lincolnshire, was also listed.

In the motion led by Liberal Democrat Councillor Ian Barfield, it calls on the authority to say: “This Council believes that the level of school exclusions in North East Lincolnshire is unnecessarily high.”

The motion asks the council to recognise that missed days of schooling ‘damage children’s education’ and that “in some cases it gives opportunities for those excluded children to engage in criminal activity during school hours.”

It adds: “In too many cases children will be permanently excluded and this will incur costs to this council and in doing so stretch already tight budgets.”

The councillors ask North East Lincolnshire Council to write to secondary heads across the authority, along with the two MPS to ask for their help in ‘reducing exclusion rates’.

According to the Guardian’s report, the national average of pupils receiving at least one suspension in the last academic year was 4.6%.

In February, the Education watchdog Ofsted warned headteachers about high exclusion rates as figures showed secondary schools in Greater Lincolnshire had some of the highest rates in the region.


SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from coverage every week, as well as insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.