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FOI reveals reasons for school exclusions in the Royal Borough

Persistent disruptive behaviour and assault are the most common reasons for pupils being excluded from schools in the Royal Borough, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Twenty-two children were permanently excluded during the last academic year, 2015/16.

Two other children who were attending schools outside the borough were also excluded.

Persistent disruptive behaviour was the reason for 10 exclusions, while four were for assault on a pupil, the data shows.

Two pupils were excluded because of verbal abuse and drugs.

Assaulting an adult, bullying, threatening with a weapon or taking a weapon into school and health and safety factors were also cited as reasons.

Excluded pupils spent time at the borough’s RISE Alternative Learning Provision, in Reform Road, Maidenhead.

Afterwards, two went to new independent schools and three returned to mainstream; the remainder went to independent alternative providers in the borough, or Haybrook College in Slough.

Children who were expelled but living outside the borough are the responsibility of their home local authority.

In the current academic year, to Wednesday, May 31, there have been 17 permanent exclusions, five of which were for disruptive behaviour and six for assaults on a child or adult.

Drugs accounted for three, and verbal abuse, having an offensive weapon and ‘other’ reasons account for the rest.

Of those excluded, 11 are residents in the borough and have been placed in alternative education by RISE.

Some of these children have only recently been excluded so the borough hopes that after a successful period in alternative provision they will return to mainstream school.

Cllr Natasha Airey (Con, Park), the Royal Borough's cabinet member for children’s services, said permanent exclusion is the last resort, and that what is in the best interest of the child is always considered.

“We work really closely with the schools to keep children in mainstream school, permanent exclusion is an absolute last resort,” she said.

“All the way along it is what is best for the child and we want to give them the best possible chance.

“Just because they have been excluded does not mean they will not go on to achieve great things,” she said.

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