Hundreds Assaulted in Beds Schools

15 March 2010, 05:00

South-West Bedfordshire MP, Andrew Selous, is asking for action to help Bedfordshire schools deal with seven exclusions for violence a day.

It comes as the latest government figures show that in 2007-2008 there were 520 incidents of verbal abuse or threatening behaviour against an adult, 500 physical assaults against other pupils and 140 physical assaults against an adult in schools across the county.

Now the MP, who is also a local school governor, wants the policy of sending children back to schools where they have been excluded from to be reviewed.

Speaking after his exchange with the Schools Minister in the Commons, Mr Selous has been telling Heart:

"All children and staff deserve to be safe at the school so they can concentrate on learning.

"Exclusions should be a last resort, but is sadly necessary to promote the education of other children in the school.

"Excluded pupils must also be properly taught in pupil referral units.

"It concerns me that schools are being overruled by exclusions appeals panels and are being sent back to the schools they were excluded from.

"We need firm action on school discipline and I would like to see school governors handling these appeals and new powers for teachers to tackle violence in the classroom."

When Andrew Selous asked why the Government undermines schools that exclude pupils by sending some of them back to the same schools, therefore putting at risk the education f all the children in those schools, The Minister for Schools and Learners, MP Vernon Coaker, has replied in a statement saying:

"We do not do that at all. In a proper system, schools exclude pupils and pupils have an opportunity to appeal.

"Sometimes it is right for pupils who are excluded to be returned to their schools.

"That is a proper system, and when I was a deputy head teacher it operated quite well without undermining schools discipline."

To listen to the full interview with Andrew Selous click here