School exclusions increase again

School exclusions increase again

Written by: Arun Kundnani

New figures from the Department for Education and Skills show that Black Caribbean children are still three times more likely than White children to be permanently excluded from school in England. The overall number of exclusions has also increased for the second year running.

In the 2001 to 2002 school year, there were an estimated 9,517 permanent exclusions of pupils aged five to sixteen, an increase of around 400 on the previous year. Of these, 772 (8 per cent) were of Black children. Chinese children are least likely to be excluded.

After rising steadily during the 1990s to a peak of 12,700 in 1996/1997, the number of exclusions decreased by a third after Labour came to power, as the government set a target to reduce their number. By 1999/2000, they had fallen to 8,323. But since then, the number has risen again as the government has relaxed its guidelines. Throughout this period, Black children have been roughly three times more likely to be excluded than White children.

The majority of excluded pupils are secondary school boys, typically aged thirteen or fourteen, although eighteen children are recorded as being excluded at just four years old during 2001/2002.

Most excluded children (5,836 or 61 per cent) were also classed as having special educational needs. Black children and Roma/Gypsy children were the two groups with the highest proportion of children placed in the special educational needs category: almost one in four of black children and just under half of all Roma/Gypsy children.

Number of permanent exclusions of compulsory school age pupils by ethnic group for 2001/2002
  • White 7,808
  • Black Caribbean 399
  • Black African 159
  • Black Other 214
  • Indian 56
  • Pakistani 170
  • Bangladeshi 76
  • Chinese 6
  • Any other ethnic group 316
  • Ethnicity not known 313
  • Total 9,517
Permanent exclusions per 10,000 students of that ethnic group for 2001/2002
  • White 14
  • Black Caribbean 42
  • Black African 16
  • Black Other 36
  • Indian 3
  • Pakistani 10
  • Bangladeshi 11
  • Chinese 2
  • Other ethnic groups 20

Related links

Department for Education and Skills

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.