Drop in suspensions in Cambridgeshire schools

THE number of pupils being suspended from Cambridgeshire schools is on the decline. Figures released this week by Cambridgeshire County Council show the numbers have been falling for the past three years. In the last academic year there were 2,378 tempora

THE number of pupils being suspended from Cambridgeshire schools is on the decline.

Figures released this week by Cambridgeshire County Council show the numbers have been falling for the past three years.

In the last academic year there were 2,378 temporary exclusions involving 1,439 pupils.

This was down by 7 per cent, from 2,378, compared with 2007-08 and down 18 per cent (2,870) on 2006-07.

The exclusions involved 1,439 pupils in 2008/09, 1,576 in 2007/8, and 1,756 in 2006/7.

In Huntingdonshire, Longsands College in St Neots temporarily excluded the most pupils. There were 70 students involved in 111 exclusions in 2008/9.

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The college's figures have remained static with 68 pupils involved in the previous two years.

Across the town at St Neots Community College, the number of exclusions has fallen sharply - from 90 to 37 and to 27 pupils in 2008/09.

At Abbey College in Ramsey, 103 pupils were excluded in the school year from 2006/7. This fell to 79 in 2007/8 and 61 last year.

At Hinchingbrooke School in Huntingdon the fall was not so clear cut: 72 in 2006/7, 48 in 2007/8 and 53 in 2008/9.

At St Peter's in Huntingdon, the figures were progressively down: 43, 39 and 34.

At the Ivo, in St Ives, the number of pupils was: 66, 78 and 54 and at Sawtry Community College the numbers of pupils excluded have been consistently low: 42, 42 and 33.

Councillor David Harty, who is responsible for learning, said: "I am encouraged that fixed term exclusions in Cambridgeshire's secondary schools are falling.

"Schools are required to provide education for pupils excluded for more than five consecutive days. This has led to alternative approaches, one of which has been the use of internal exclusion - time spent in school but away from their class.

"Schools have also been working together to find ways of tackling and reducing challenging and difficult behaviour. This all helps to reduce exclusion."

As reported by The Hunts Post, the district's schools have been part of this new approach.

St Peter's, for example, has pioneered a small unit within the school where youngsters who might otherwise be excluded have lessons tailored to their needs. The aim is to help the pupils remain within education and gain employment when they leave school.

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