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More than 8,000 pupils are being excluded from schools every year amid a wave of violence across Scotland’s classrooms.

Children as young as five have been told to stay away from school, as a Scottish Daily Mail probe shows a litany of shocking behaviour.

Incidents include pupils attacking other children and staff with weapons, indecent exposure, and threatening teachers and pupils with sexual harm and violence.

In a sign of the changing nature of issues facing schools, disruptive pupils are also using social media to bully their victims at all hours of the day and night.

Youngsters have also set fire to school buildings and property, consumed drugs and alcohol before attending class and stalked staff and other pupils.

Teachers are dealing with a rising tide of abuse and violence

Critics say there has been a surge in violence in schools and are calling for more to be done to tackle the issue.

A spokesman for the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) said there is ‘clear evidence of an aggression epidemic sweeping through our schools’ which has left ‘many teachers feeling unsafe’.

Scottish Tory education spokesman Liam Kerr said: ‘The escalation of violence in schools, sometimes involving children as young as five, is nothing short of a national scandal which is taking a huge toll on teachers, other pupils and parents.

‘The SNP have really taken their eye off the ball on this issue and have only agreed to hold a summit on school violence following repeated pressure from the Scottish Conservatives.’

Figures from 30 of Scotland’s 32 councils show some 8,696 pupils were excluded in the past academic year. As schools are open 190 days per year, this is equivalent to more than 45 pupils a day.

The number of exclusions the previous year was 8,739. There were 13,235 incidents of exclusion – also called suspension – in the past academic year and 13,017 the year before.

The authorities can exclude pupils when they consider that allowing them to continue attending school would be ‘seriously detrimental to order and discipline… or the educational wellbeing’ of other children.

The Scottish Government states that exclusion should only ever be used as a ‘last resort’.

In a survey of SSTA members, 75 per cent said that they had experienced verbal aggression, while one in eight had endured physical aggression.

Despite this, only 9 per cent reported all incidents and 13 per cent reported some incidents.

One member said: ‘I have often asked pupils why they behave as they do and the response is always “because I can”.’

An SSTA spokesman said: ‘There is a denial culture in the system that fails to acknowledge how serious the situation is in schools.

‘Teachers are suffering and there appears to be little support to address the problem. Pressure is exerted on schools and local authorities to push the numbers down for fear of reputational damage.

Tory MSP Liam Kerr is calling for action

‘Many teachers see little point in reporting incidents as no action will be taken.’

The Scottish Conservatives have said that they want to see the establishment of a School Violence Working Group as well as a review of the exclusion policies for pupils.

Mr Kerr added: ‘Coupled with provision of guidance, materials and support – both practical and financial – to parents and schools, we can hopefully reverse the trend.’

A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘Where exclusion is used, it should be as a proportionate response where there is no appropriate alternative, and the wellbeing of the child or young person should be the key consideration.

‘This is confirmed by national guidance.’

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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