General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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NI schools 'suspend under-fives'


25/11/2008 :: Northern Ireland :: BBC News

Children aged five and younger are regularly being suspended from schools in Northern Ireland, it has emerged.

Between 2002 and 2007, a total of 131 suspensions were given to children in this age group.

Most were suspended from schools for physically attacking teachers and classroom assistants.

The statistics were released by the Department of Education in response to an assembly question from SDLP South Antrim MLA Thomas Burns.

While most of the suspensions were for physical and verbal attacks on staff, some related to bullying and attacks on other pupils as well as being disruptive in class.

The figures also showed that one primary one pupil was expelled over behaviour.

In the academic year 2006-07, the latest year for which figures are available, 25 children were suspended.

But a teaching union has claimed the figures are just the "tip of the iceberg" and that many incidents go unreported.



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