NI schools suspended 4,000 pupils last year

The number of pupils suspended fell slightly from the previous year

More than 4,000 pupils were suspended from school at least once last year, more than three-quarters of whom were boys.

Figures published by the Department of Education this week show that 4,048 school pupils in Northern Ireland were suspended during the 2016/17 academic year.

The most frequent reason for pupils to be suspended was for breaking “minor school rules” on a frequent basis, which accounted for more than a quarter of all suspensions.

Physical attacks on other pupils made up another 20.96% of all suspensions, while the verbal abuse of staff accounted for 18.25%, and a further 8.39% of suspensions were for physical attacks on staff.

There were 158 individual suspensions for bullying, 135 for substance abuse, 303 for causing significant damage to property, 328 for verbal abuse of a pupil, 531 for disruptive behaviour in class, 51 for alcohol abuse and 119 for stealing.

The number of pupils suspended is down compared to the previous year,2015/16, when 4,156 were suspended.

A total of 33 pupils were expelled last year, with a third down to ‘persistent infringements of relatively minor school rules’ and 27% for ‘physical attacks on a pupil’.

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