Education in crisis as suspension rate rises

The Dominion Post 15 June 2007
Nearly 30,000 pupils were suspended, stood down or kicked out of school in the past year – mostly for disobedience, drugs, violence and abusing teachers. The alarming figures – revealed yesterday in one of two major education reports – are coupled with a dramatic rise in truancy, with about 30,000 pupils cutting class each week. The Government has announced new attendance guidelines and truancy targets for schools in a bid to combat the education sector crisis but advises that more is needed to stop pupils slipping through the cracks.The 2006 Student Engagement Report shows schools dished out 27,475 suspensions and stand-downs last year – nearly 500 more than in 2005. Both disciplinary measures mean a pupil is sent home for misbehaviour, though suspensions trigger a more formal process involving school boards that can lead to permanent removal. Serious misconduct resulted in 1706 exclusions and expulsions – in which pupils are permanently barred from a school – a slight decrease from 2005.

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