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Email: press.office@naht.org.uk 

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NAHT responds to stats showing record number of termly school suspensions

Commenting after new figures out today showed school exclusions and suspensions increased year on year between the 2022 and 2023 spring terms, Paul Whiteman, general secretary at school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“It is undoubtedly a real cause for concern that suspensions and exclusions have increased year-on-year and that the number of suspensions is the highest termly figure on record.

“This is something the government should reflect on. Schools work incredibly hard to support pupils who are struggling with behaviour issues, but often the issues underpinning this go way beyond the school gate.

“Too often schools are left to tackle the problems that lead to exclusions and suspensions alone, and with scarce resources.

“Inadequate government funding of schools is leading to a reduction in pastoral care and teaching assistants in schools.

“Early intervention is often crucial - government funding cuts to services that support schools have made it harder for children and families to access help from mental health services and social care amid long waiting lists and higher thresholds. We’ve seen local authorities forced to stop providing key services, such as behaviour support teams.

“Without more government investment in these vital services, challenges in children’s lives will continue to affect their behaviour, wellbeing and academic achievement.”

First published 19 April 2024