Exclusions among primary pupils for attacking adults soar by 25%

The TES is reporting that official figures are showing the number of primary pupils excluded from school for assaulting an adult has risen by 25 per cent in a year.

The government statistics reveal that 11,660 primary pupils in 2013-14 were either permanently or temporarily sent home from school for attacking an adult, up from 9,290 the year before.

The figures also show there has been an 11 per cent increase in the number of permanent exclusions among secondary students for physically assaulting staff, rising from 260 in 2012-13 to 290 last year.

Overall, the total number of permanent exclusions across primary, secondary and special schools also increased slightly compared with 2012-13, despite a general decline since 2004-05.

Exclusions among primary pupils for racist abuse also increased by 15.6 per cent year on year, but all of them were temporary.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said the statistics were proof that the new powers handed to headteachers by ministers had given them the “confidence” to exclude students…

More at: Exclusions among primary pupils for attacking adults soar by 25%


See also: 

Nick Gibb: Exclusion is a necessary tool – but schools are handling behaviour better than ever before

Teaching unions blame shock rise in assaults from schoolchildren on Government funding cuts


So that’s more than 50 exclusions from primary schools alone for assaulting an adult per school day.

What’s your interpretation of these figures: is behaviour getting worse, are heads more confident to exclude students than they were before, or is something else going on?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


What is the main reason for the rise in exclusions for assaults on adults?


Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link

Today's poll: Is it fair or unfair to offer uni places for applicants with lower grades who come from challenging situations?
Universal Credit could take free school meals away from children
Categories: Leadership, Policy, Primary and Secondary.


  1. “All we do is behave”. William Glasser highlighted this in his Choice Theory. The type of behaviour I believe is determined by a number of factors including experiences, success rates of earlier behaviour, level of maturity, ability to “cope” degree of passiveness or tolerance or patience etc. Young children have few “tools” to cope with situations that they feel uncomfortable in. They have few choices to adopt when they feel threatened, insecure, have no or little sense of belonging, no voice, little or no choice within their learning environment and the idea of learning being fun missing. There is nothing to celebrate by providing powers to eliminate those with some of the greatest needs and without the tools to cope without having those needs met from an environment that is supposed to be a learning one. We are left asking where else will they develop the capacity to cope?
    Agreed it should not be this way, schools should be a nurturing environment, and all parents should have the skills to help their children. What we are doing is wrong though on so many levels. We are forcing learners to be compliant, to “behave” in ways that are nothing less than oppressive and in environments that offer little in the way of meeting learning or personal needs.
    All we do is behave – so we should be looking at why children behave in the way reported towards people they should trust, respect and feel comfortable with.
    Links to articles concerning this topic: 
    Is Compliance a Learning Disability? http://www.linkedin.com/redir/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwp%2Eme%2Fp2LphS-kd&urlhash=M7qX&_t=tracking_anet
    Understanding Learning Needs e-Book http://www.linkedin.com/redir/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwp%2Eme%2Fp2LphS-4&urlhash=UVFL&_t=tracking_anet
    The first LQ Topic Review – LQ and the School Environment. http://www.linkedin.com/redir/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwp%2Eme%2Fp2LphS-5g&urlhash=kC_i&_t=tracking_anet
    (This article details how a school day resulted in “bad behaviour” for one learner)

  2. writeandraise

    This does not make for good reading. This is regression and not progression. This exposes failings on several levels, from parental to community, school and government. There are no quick solutions. However for the schools minister to imply the government strategy (of giving more power to headteachers) is correct for dealing with this problem, is political fallacy. When the pupils are expelled, they are moved to another school, thus someone else’s problem. Solution? NO!
    As with many government policies for society, it address the symptoms and never the root causes. No one is born evil and so pupils striking adults are learnt behaviours that need to be unlearnt. There is a genuinely limit to what classroom practitioners can do to address such poor behaviour, but solutions can be found in properly funded behaviour management programs and examining home life situations of these pupils. Cost money? YES!

  3. roger_farley

    SchoolsImprove SOME children see it as ok to hit adults/parents at home and parents aren’t sure of consequences – that comes into school

  4. wasateacher

    The problem with your polls is that there is only an either/or. Often the answer is different completely. On exclusions, my view is not that behaviour is worse, nor that exclusion is easier but the schools are now so forced to focus on league tables and test scores that they are less likely to spend time on behaviour management – Equally they have less money to spend on the resources for supporting childre, thereby resorting to exclusion whereas, in the past, many schools worked with the child to avoid exclusion.
    Another reason could be that, when schools came under one local authority, they would often work with each other and arrange swaps of unsettled pupils to enable the pupil to benefit from a fresh start.
    There are many other strategies which were used and were effective and which have been destroyed with the fragmentation of education and the inability of local authorities to plan effectively.

Let us know what you think...