The number of children suspended from primary schools in England has increased considerably, according to new figures. Some 45,010 pupils aged five to 11 were excluded from school last year – up from 37,870 during the previous year.
Describing the increase as "considerable", Government statisticians said there had been more persistent disruptive behaviour and more cases of children assaulting other pupils and adults.
There was a 25 per cent increase in the number of pupils assaulting an adult in school, resulting in their suspension or fixed-term exclusion. During 2013-2014, state-funded primary schools handed out 11,420 suspensions for physical assault against an adult – up from 9,080 the previous year.
The figures from the Department for Education also revealed a 15.6%. rise in suspension for racist abuse.
General secretary of the NASUWT teaching union Chris Keates said the increase in the number of pupils suspended due to assaulting adults in schools is extremely worrying.
"The increase in suspensions shows that, quite rightly, schools are not accepting violence against staff. However, there needs to be deeper analysis of why levels of violence are increasing."
Schools Minister Nick Gibb commented: "Today's figures show a slight increase in the number of fixed-period and permanent exclusions, although overall, they are lower than in 2010.
"Now we are going further by appointing behaviour expert Tom Bennett to lead a review group to ensure teachers are fully trained in dealing with disruptive children."
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