HIGH SCHOOL SUSPENSIONS

Pupil sitting exam

4,000 NI pupils suspended from school last year. More than 4,000 pupils were suspended from school last school year, according to new figures published by the Department of Education (DE). A total of 4,048 pupils were suspended in 2016/17 a fall from 4,156 in 2015/16. The number of pupils expelled rose from 19 in 2015/16 to 33 in 2016/17. Under third of suspensions were given for physical attacks on other pupils or staff. So 6,805 suspensions were issued by schools in 2016/17 as some pupils received more than one suspension. The most common reason was for persistent infringement of school rules. 1,426 suspensions were given for physical attacks on the pupils while 571 were for a physical attack on a staff member. There 135 suspensions for substance abuse and a further 51 for alcohol abuse.

More boys suspended

The majority of the pupils suspended were from post-primary schools, 74 pupils in years 1-4 and 201 pupils in years 5-7 in primary schools suspended. Around three-quarters of the pupils suspended in 2016/17 were boys. Most suspensions from school only last for a few days, but a school can suspend a pupil for up to 45 days in a school year. The statistics are supplied to DE by the Education Authority. There had been a rise in the number of pupils suspended in the year prior to 2016/17. In 2014/15, 3,647 pupils received a total of 6198 suspensions. That rose to 4,156 pupils receiving a total of 7078 suspensions in 2015/16. There are currently around 314,000 pupils in Northern Ireland primary and post-primary schools. Does these trends in NI reflect on the picture as symptom of boys requiring attention in early years including cadets from 5 years old. The world throws so many things at children struggling with other issues displayed in the behaviour. Some need support and schools need more help to address huge numbers forming the tip of the iceberg. What underlying causes makes boys especially to display indiscipline, lack of conformity and compliance, taking instructions and obedience of leaders in Authority? Are they sleeping properly and eating brain foods to nurture their minds? Is there an alternative help in place to train and help them acquire skills and use their talents? Could one size fits all perhaps be unsuitable for some causing such behaviours due to pressure to achieve?

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