Violence and expulsions in nurseries increasing

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The Department for Education released figures showing that children as young as one, and many other infants, are being excluded from childcare settings for attacking other pupils and their carers.

In response to Parliamentary Question, the DfE’s report has highlighted that 100 children under the age of 5 were excluded over a one year period.

30 children aged 4 and under were expelled, while a further 70 were suspended for a fixed period, which can be no longer than 45 academic days.

Half of the exclusions reported were for attacks on fellow pupils and staff, and the results went on to show that boys were 3 times more likely to be expelled than girls.

Davina Ludlow from Day Nurseries has said of the shocking results of the report:

“It is tragic that children as young as four and under are being permanently excluded from nurseries. These are not happy and content children. They tend to experience severe disruption at home and are crying out to be helped. Permanent exclusion can be so damaging.

“It is vital that nurseries are given extra support so they can play a crucial role in changing the child’s behaviour before it is too late.”

The report also explored figures from primary schools and secondary schools, stating that some teachers in secondary education are understood to be terrified of pupils they teach.

Tim Farron of the Liberal Democrats requested the statistics, saying:

“Teaching is facing a recruitment crisis, and violence in the classroom is part of the reason why. No one should have to worry about violence when they set foot in a classroom.

“But thousands of young people excluded is a national scandal. It affects their life chances and could ruin their future opportunities.

“We need to tackle the root causes of this crisis earlier on and prevent problem behaviour developing.”

Further statistics highlighted were that children with special education needs were more likely to be expelled while those who were eligible for free school meals were also at higher risk.

Back in 2014, one child was expelled from his nursery after he was bitten 3 times across a 6 month period. The child’s mother threatened to report the incident to Ofsted and the setting said the child was no longer allowed to attend, stating that it had a ‘zero-tolerance approach to threats and intimidation’

A Department for Education spokesman said:

“Permanent exclusions of pupils below the age of 11 remain very rare. But we are determined that every child feels safe at school and is able to work and study hard without disruption. We are absolutely clear that no teacher should have to work in fear of violence or harassment.”

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