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Number of Shropshire students excluded for bullying nearly doubles since 2016

By Rory Smith | Education | Published:

The number of students being excluded for bullying in Shropshire has nearly doubled since 2016, new data shows.

The latest figures released by the Department for Education have revealed that across the 2017/18 academic year, 23 students were excluded for bullying compared to just 13 the year before.

The county's 77 per cent increase has bucked the regional trend which saw the number of bullying exclusions in the West Midlands drop by 10 per cent from 495 to 445 over the same period.

Shropshire Councillor Ed Potter, portfolio holder for Children's Services, said schools are having to adapt to ever-changing technology.

"There are many reasons for an increase in reports but as a local authority we work with both our mainstream schools and academies to support them wherever possible and we appreciate that schools are under considerable pressures," he said.

"I think young people are facing challenges due to aspects of county lines, criminal exploitation and child sexual exploitation, all of which can impact on education and we're working very hard with our Early Help partnerships to combat this.

"Schools are becoming more aware of issues and identifying them more. The nature of bullying has changed with increasing technology and access to social media that schools are having to adapt to.

"It doesn't get left in the playground which would be the traditional view and schools can't afford to think traditionally.

"I think the most fundamental thing is for young people or parents that have concerns to open up a sensible conversation with the school and likewise I expect Shropshire schools to be open to sensible and rational conversations and to conduct investigations with both parents and pupils wherever necessary."

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Across the country, the national average number of exclusions for bullying dropped by 14 per cent between the two school years.

In 2017/18, there were 3,660 such exclusions in English schools, or 70 a week – fewer than in 2016/17, when there were 4,275 cases recorded, or 82 per week.

The best local authority at tackling bullying was Bracknell Forest in Berkshire. The area completely eradicated exclusions for bullying, reporting a 100 per cent decrease.

Yorkshire and the Humber was the only English region where the number of bullying exclusions rose between the two years with a two per cent increase.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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