Exclusions are up as Truro schools clamp down
MORE THAN 100 pupils were suspended from schools in the Truro area in the past academic year.
Figures obtained by the West Briton under the Freedom of Information Act showed that at one secondary school the number of fixed-term exclusions doubled in a year.
Penair School was the only secondary school in the area to permanently exclude a pupil in the past three years.
Richard Lander School's figures for fixed-term exclusions spiked at 67 pupils in the 2011-12 year in what it called a "firm response to repeated issues".
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Seventeen Richard Lander students were excluded in 2009-10, rising to 30 in 2010-11, then increasing by 37 last year.
Its head teacher, Steve Mulcahy, said: "The spike in figures in 2011-12 was the school's firm response to repeated issues from a very small cohort of students.
"For the academic current year, we are on line to record our lowest number of exclusions to date."
The figures for 2011-12 showed more than 5.5 per cent of pupils were given fixed-term exclusions compared with a national average of more than 8 per cent.
Mr Mulcahy said the trend over three years for a school of more than 1,300 pupils compared well with schools nationally. He added students who might have been at risk of permanent exclusion received support.
The first set of figures released by Penair School on November 30 included no permanent exclusions. The school admitted there had been a permanent exclusion, blaming the oversight on an administrative error.
It refused to give the age, gender or year group of the excluded pupil.
Barbara Vann, head teacher, said: "We're never satisfied as any exclusion represents a disappointment for students and staff.
"We would prefer that there are no exclusions at all but we're all human."
Penair, which has approximately 1,150 students, issued fixed-term exclusions to 21 pupils in 2009-10, 30 in 2010-11 and 29 last year. Dr Vann said the relatively low level of exclusions was achieved by constant support for students and having clear boundaries.
Roseland Community College, with more than 600 students, handed out fixed-term exclusions to 13 pupils last year, down from 18 pupils in 2010-11, with 10 in 2009-10.
Head teacher Neil Wilkinson-McKie said: "We aim to continually create an inclusive ethos where students manage themselves well with success."
See West Briton Comment on page 44.