The BBC have been looking at the numbers of children excluded from school as a result of drink or drug issues:
Hundreds of pupils in the East Midlands have been suspended or expelled from school because of drink or drugs, the BBC has learned.
Figures obtained using the Freedom of Information Act showed 775 pupils were excluded for drink or drugs in the year 2005/06, with 48 permanent exclusions.
The punishments were for those caught with or selling drugs or alcohol.
There is the following table showing exclusions by county:
Its only if you read on that the news becomes a bit better:
Figures were down on previous years with 814 excluded across the region in 2003/04 and 792 in the 2004/05 year.
The DfES guidance to schools on the use of exclusions:
Exclusion should only be considered for serious breaches of the school’s behaviour policy, and should not be imposed without a thorough investigation unless there is an immediate threat to the safety of others in the school or the pupil concerned. It should not be used if alternative solutions have the potential to achieve a change in the pupil’s behaviour and are not detrimental to the whole school community.
In some cases fixed-period exclusion will be more appropriate than permanent exclusion. It is the responsibility of the school to set work for a pupil during a fixed period of exclusion. Arrangements may be made to include drug education, and to ensure that any work set by the school and returned is carefully assessed. Schools should, jointly with the LEA, ensure that suitable, full-time alternative education other than the setting and marking of work is planned and provided in the case of longer fixed period exclusions of more than 15 school days.
A decision to exclude a child permanently is a serious one. Permanent exclusion should usually be the final step in the process for dealing with disciplinary offences after a wide range of other strategies have been tried without success. Supplying an illegal drug is a serious breach of school rules and it may be one of the exceptional
circumstances where the headteacher judges that it is appropriate to permanently exclude a pupil, even for a one-off or first-time offence. In making this judgement the headteacher should have regard to the school’s policy on drugs and consider the precise circumstances of each case, including the nature of the incident and the evidence available. This may also include the precise nature of the supply (see section 5.1).
Where pupils are permanently excluded for supplying an illegal drug, repeated possession and/or use of an illegal drug on school premises, the Secretary of State would not normally expect the governing body or an independent appeal panel to reinstate the pupil.
Filed under: exclusions, school drug policy, East Midlands