According to new figures from Scotland’s largest council the phenomenon of winter blues or seasonally affected disorder may also be having an impact on the number of pupils suspended from school. This is from Herald Scotland…
A report on trends in exclusion by Glasgow City Council shows many happen in November, with more than 300 incidents compared to fewer than 200 in September.
The analysis also shows another spike in suspensions and expulsions towards the end of March.
Officials have now asked school staff to look at the two periods of increased exclusions to see whether different approaches can be taken to reduce the numbers.
Maureen McKenna, the council’s director of education, said: “We wanted to have a look at exclusions across the year to see the peaks and troughs and it was clear in both the primary and secondary figures that there were two definite spikes. Both these higher points come towards the end of terms and it may be that school stress levels get a bit higher at these points.
“It may also be the onset of the darker nights in November with the weather changing may also make people a little less tolerant.”
A spokesman for the Educational Institute of Scotland teaching union said it was not unexpected the number of exclusions may rise toward the end of a school term.
He said: “Some pupils can feel more tired later in the year, with the result that class indiscipline may increase. In addition, schools will often issue several warnings for indiscipline to a pupil before resorting to exclusion which means that, later in the term, repeatedly disruptive pupils may have used up all their warnings.
“While no-one wants to see pupils excluded from school, it remains an essential part of school discipline policies which is used as a last resort to discourage repeated or serious pupil indiscipline.”
There doesn’t actually seem to be much in the way of evidence to link the trend with the idea of winter blues, but the observation of two spikes in expulsions at the end of the winter and spring terms seems interesting. Is this seen where you are too? Is it the result of cumulative warnings or is there more to it that this? Does it perhaps suggest terms are too long? Please share your thoughts in the comments or on twitter…