Official Government figures have revealed that just ninety pupils across the Country were expelled last year for school bullying, despite a new survey finding half of all 14-year-old children have been bullied.
Across Kent, 10 pupils were expelled last year from all state schools. In over two-thirds of local authorities across England, including Medway, not a single child was expelled for bullying. However in Kent 260 pupils and in Medway 40 pupils were suspended from state schools – meaning the disruptive students returned to the school where they caused misery and fear for their classmates.
Since 1997, Labour Government rules have deliberately made it more difficult for schools to expel pupils, undermining the authority of head teachers and meaning bullies end up back at the same school as their victims.
Bullying makes far too many children’s lives a misery - I have been contacted by parents whose children have been bullied, including being physically beaten up! But the Government’s own figures show that in the vast majority of cases bullies are returned to the same school as their victims after a short punishment, rather than being expelled. I firmly believe that the key to tackling bullying is giving our teachers the powers they need to crack down on bad behaviour. Schools need the power to take a zero tolerance approach towards serious offences such as bullying so that they can maintain discipline in the classroom before it spirals out of control.