News story

School exclusion statistics for the academic year 2009 to 2010

The Department has today published the annual school exclusion statistics for 2009/10.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The figures show:

  • There were an estimated 5,740 permanent exclusions from primary, secondary and all special schools in 2009/10.
  • There were 279,260 fixed period exclusions from state funded secondary schools, 37,210 fixed period exclusions from primary schools and 14,910 fixed period exclusions from special schools.
  • The average length of a fixed period exclusion in state funded secondary schools was 2.5 days, for primary schools the average length of a fixed period exclusion was 2.1 days.
  • The permanent exclusion rate for boys was approximately four times higher than that for girls. The fixed period exclusion rate for boys was almost three times higher than that for girls.
  • Pupils with SEN with statements are around eight times more likely to be permanently excluded than those pupils with no SEN.
  • Children who are eligible for free school meals are around four times more likely to receive a permanent exclusion and three times more likely to receive a fixed period exclusion than children who are not eligible for free school meals.
  • Nearly 900 children are suspended from school for abuse and assault every school day.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:

With thousands of pupils being excluded for persistent disruption and violent or abusive behaviour we remain concerned that weak discipline remains a significant problem in too many of our schools and classrooms. Tackling poor behaviour and raising academic standards are key priorities for the Coalition Government. We will back head teachers in excluding persistently disruptive pupils, which is why we are removing barriers which limit their authority.

We have already introduced a series measures to put head teachers and teachers back in control of the classroom - including clearer guidance and increased search powers. Through the Education Bill we are introducing further measures to strengthen teacher authority and support schools in maintaining good behaviour.

We are also concerned that pupils who are excluded from school not only receive a good education but are also helped to tackle their behaviour problems. This is why we are reforming the alternative education they receive to raise its quality. It is unacceptable that only 1.4 per cent pupils in alternative provision achieve five good GCSEs including English and Maths. We are also trialling a new approach to permanent exclusion and making Free School status available to alternative provision providers in order to open up the sector and raise standards.

Further information

  1. The full statistics are available from the publications section.

  2. Further details of the Government’s reforms on behaviour and discipline.

  3. Attainment statistics of pupils in alternative provision.

DfE enquiries

Central newsdesk - for journalists 020 7783 8300

General enquiries - for members of the public 0370 000 2288

Published 28 July 2011