How many school exclusions were there in your area?
- Credit: PA
Covid has seen a significant reduction in children being permanently excluded or suspended from school in Norfolk.
Figures for 2019/20, an academic year interrupted by the first national lockdown during the spring term, show 113 pupils were permanently excluded in Norfolk and 41 in Waveney.
It is a big drop from the 209 children excluded from Norfolk classrooms the previous year, though while schools remained open for vulnerable and key worker children, closures due to Covid had a substantial effect.
The number of school suspensions was also lower at 5,274, down from 7,558 in 2018/19, Department for Education data shows.
There were 1,747 secondary school pupils who had one or more suspension during the year, along with 602 primary children and 39 youngsters at special schools.
Norfolk reached a peak of permanent exclusions in 2015/16 when there were a record 246, prompting Norfolk County Council to spend £480,000 in the last five years on inclusion support.
John Fisher, cabinet member for children's services, said: “Schools have worked hard to avoid exclusion of children and young people across Norfolk and we continue to work with them to reduce exclusions and suspensions further, particularly given the disruption to learning over the last 18 months and the vulnerability of children being excluded from school."
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But Labour lead for children and young people on the council, Mike Smith-Clare, said more needed to be done to reduce numbers further.
“While I welcome any drop in the number of school exclusions and suspensions; it’s still a concern that a number of children are still missing out on the education they need, particularly during an academic year blighted by Covid,” he said.
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“Too many lives are being limited by a lack of provision, understanding and opportunity.”
Pupils excluded and suspended in 2019/20
Permanent exclusions - 11
Suspensions - 655
Permanent exclusions - 9
Suspensions - 591
Permanent exclusions - 33
Suspensions - 952
King’s Lynn and West Norfolk
Permanent exclusions - 17
Suspensions - 853
Permanent exclusions - 24
Suspensions - 1,339
Permanent exclusions - 7
Suspensions - 891
Permanent exclusions - 13
Suspensions - 611
Permanent exclusions - 41
Suspensions - 1,709