The number of school days lost as a result of unruly behaviour has more than doubled in Wrexham in the last two years.
New figures show pupils lost the equivalent of more than eight years worth of education in the county as a result of being excluded during the last full school year.
The 3,162 days where youngsters were banned from class between September 2017 and July last year is compared to 1,340 in 2015/16.
This report set to go before councillors also highlights that more than 900 exclusion orders were made in 2017/18, with threats towards adults and persistent disruptive behaviour being the main causes.
Wrexham Council’s lead member for education has now said reducing the number of exclusions is a key priority for schools in the area.
Cllr Phil Wynn (Ind) said: “In 2011/12 Wrexham was ranked within the top third in Wales for recorded fixed term exclusions.
“There had been a considerable reduction up to and including 2015/16 but this trend has not continued and the number of fixed term exclusions has increased since then.
“The education department continues to monitor the exclusion rates in Wrexham schools on a consistent basis and provides support and advice proactively to schools to attempt to keep both categories of exclusions at the lowest possible rate.
“The need to reduce fixed term exclusions will be a priority in the 2019-20 business plan.”
The reasons for pupils being excluded ranged from bullying and verbal abuse to assaults, drug taking and racism.
Last year there were 27 drug and alcohol related exclusions as well as around 230 as a result of assaults.
The process for monitoring exclusions in Wrexham was changed in spring last year, meaning all cases are reported to the local authority electronically.
Cllr Wynn said each one was examined and cross referenced to identify potential support at the earliest possible opportunity.
He said “Any patterns that are emerging in relation to individual children or within a school itself are highlighted.
“The Exclusion Intervention Model (EIM) attempts to ensure that appropriate responses can be provided to minimise the risk of further exclusions.
“The EIM requires school-based education social workers and other relevant officers to ensure schools are implementing pastoral support plans for vulnerable pupils at the earliest opportunity.”
The figures will be examined by members of the council’s lifelong learning scrutiny committee on Thursday .
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme).
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