Aberdeen and Edinburgh schools top exclusion table

MORE than three-quarters of pupils permanently excluded from their schools for violent or unruly behaviour live in just two council areas, figures show.

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Scottish Government statistics show just 18 pupils were “removed from the register” in 2012/13, meaning they were not allowed to return to their original school.

Fourteen of those cases were in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, raising questions about the varying approaches adopted by local authorities.

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There were a total of 21,936 exclusions in Scotland in the last year - the lowest figure on record. In more than 99.9 per cent of cases the pupil was allowed to return to their original school after a temporary ban.

Of the 18 cases where a pupil was moved to another school or educational provision, seven were in Aberdeen, one was in Aberdeenshire, seven were in Edinburgh, two were in North Lanarkshire and one in West Lothian.

In two of the largest local authorities, Glasgow and Highland, not a single child was removed from the register.

There were also a sharp contrast across the country over the treatment of temporary exclusions.

While East Renfrewshire Council had just three temporary exclusions per 1,000 pupils, the figure for Dundee was 96 - the highest exclusion rate in the country.

Jane Peckham, Scotland Organiser for the NASUWT teaching union, said: “The census figures include some interesting statistics on school exclusion. In principle, a reduction in exclusion figures should be welcomed, however, the concern of the NASUWT is that the reduction in exclusion figures masks what appears to be the increasing unwillingness by schools to exclude violent and disruptive pupils.

“Retaining pupils in schools who should be excluded is detrimental to other pupils in the class, the ability of teachers to secure educational progress for all pupils and for the individual pupil themselves, whose behaviour is likely to be a manifestation that they need additional specialist support.”