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Statistics Publication Notice: Education Series - EXCLUSIONS FROM SCHOOLS, 2004/05

DescriptionExclusions of pupils from local authority schools during 2004/05.
Official Print Publication DateJanuary 2006
Website Publication DateJanuary 31, 2006


Revised 30th January 2007
(Third last bullet point and Chart 3 amended)

A Scottish Executive National Statistics Publication
ISSN 1479-7569
ISBN 0 7559 2944 6 (Web only publication)
This document is also available in pdf format (260k)
The tables are available in Excel Spreadsheet format (136k)

This document contains analysis of the latest exclusions data for 2004/05. This collection was amended in 2003/04 to provide greater detail than in previous years. Some of the information contained in this document is therefore not available for years prior to 2003/04. Information relates to local authority schools only. Exclusions include both temporary exclusions and pupils removed from the register.

Most of the data refers to cases of exclusion, which must not be confused with the number of pupils excluded, as some pupils were excluded more than once during the year.

The target to reduce the number of exclusions from schools was discontinued part way through 2003/04.

The main findings are:

  • During 2004/05 there were 41,974 exclusions from local authority schools in Scotland, an increase of eight per cent from 2003/04. About 22,000 different pupils (three per cent) were excluded.
  • Over 99 per cent of all exclusions were temporary. In 271 cases, pupils were removed from the register of the school, an increase of 54 per cent from the 2003/04 figure of 176.
  • Overall, male pupils accounted for 79 per cent of exclusions.
  • There were 5,319 exclusions from local authority primary schools, 13 per cent of the total, and equivalent to 13 exclusions per 1,000 pupils. This is an 18 per cent increase from 4,478 exclusions in 2003/04.
  • There were 35,513 exclusions from local authority secondary schools, 85 per cent of the total, and equivalent to 112 exclusions per 1,000 pupils. Exclusion rates peaked during S3, with 190 exclusions per 1,000 pupils. This is a 6 per cent increase from 33,472 exclusions in 2003/04.
  • There were 1,142 exclusions from local authority special schools, three per cent of the total, and equivalent to 163 exclusions per 1,000 pupils.
  • As in 2003/04 exclusion rates were highest during the Christmas to Easter term, with the peak in the first week of February.
  • Ninety per cent of all temporary exclusions lasted one week or less. In 2003/04 the figure was 80 per cent.
  • Of the 22,000 pupils excluded, 60 per cent were excluded on one occasion only and 19 per cent were excluded twice.
  • Rates of exclusion vary widely across ethnic groups, however this analysis is affected by the number of pupils for whom ethnicity is not disclosed.
  • Comparison with the overall school population shows that pupils entitled to free school meals, pupils with additional support needs, and pupils looked after by the local authority, all had higher exclusion rates than other pupils. Where a pupil had all three risk factors the exclusion rate was 19 times that of pupils with none of them.
  • Reasons for exclusion showed that 30 per cent of exclusions involved general or persistent disobedience; 25 per cent involved verbal abuse of members of staff; and 13 per cent involved insolent or offensive behaviour.
  • Overall, there were 58 exclusions per 1,000 pupils from local authority primary, secondary, and special schools in Scotland in 2004/05. This ranged between local authorities from seven per 1,000 to 111 per 1,000.

List of Tables and Charts

Table 1 - Exclusions by type of exclusion, 1998/99 to 2004/05
Table 2 - Exclusions, by stage and gender
Table 3 - Exclusions per 1,000 pupils, by stage and gender
Chart 1 - Exclusion rates, by stage and gender
Table 4 - Exclusions by stage, 1998/99 to 2004/05
Chart 2 - Number of exclusions per week
Table 5 - Duration of temporary exclusions
Table 6 - Number of times that pupils were temporarily excluded
Table 7 - Number of days lost due to exclusions, with no education provision
Table 8 - Education provision during exclusion
Table 9 - Exclusions, by ethnic background of pupils
Table 10 - Exclusions amongst pupils registered for free school meals
Table 11 - Exclusions amongst pupils looked after by local authorities
Table 12 - Exclusions amongst pupils with a Record of Needs or Individualised Educational Programme
Chart 3 - Exclusions per 1,000 pupils for pupils registered for free school meals, with a RoN/ IEP and looked after by local authorities
Chart 4 - Exclusions per 1,000 pupils by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation and free school meal registration
Table 13 - Appeals against exclusions
Table 14 - Exclusions by reason for exclusion
Table 15 - Exclusions by motivation for incident leading to exclusion
Table 16 - Exclusions by type of exclusion and local authority
Table 17 - Exclusions by school sector and local authority
Table 18 - Temporary exclusions and number of different pupils temporarily excluded by local authority
Table 19 - Temporary exclusions by local authority 1999/00 to 2004/05
Table 20 - Total removed from register by local authority 1999/00 to 2004/05
Table 21 - Total exclusions by local authority 1999/00 to 2004/05
Table 22 - Absence due to temporary exclusion


General background

1. Under Circulars 10/93 and 1/95, local authorities are required each year to collect certain statistics from schools on exclusions. The statistics relate to half-days of temporary exclusions and number of pupils removed from the register (previously known as 'permanent' exclusions).

2. In April 1998, the then Scottish Office issued Circular 2/98 to local authorities, informing them of a formal requirement to report, record and monitor additional information on exclusions from schools starting from the 1998/99 school year. Since 2003/04 an agreed set of information on each exclusion has been sent to the Scottish Executive as part of the ScotXed programme of data exchange.

3. Following an answer to a Parliamentary Question in June 2003, the Executive issued Circular 8/03 in November 2003, which gave revised guidance and formally informed local authorities that the target to reduce exclusions had been dropped.

4. An exclusion is temporary when a pupil is excluded from a school but remains on the register of that school because they are expected to return when the exclusion period is completed. The term 'removed from the register' refers to a pupil who is excluded and their name removed from the school register. Such a pupil would then be educated at another school or via some other form of provision. Local authorities may also reach agreements with parents to move a pupil to another school without the use of a formal 'removal from register'.

Issues relating to data

5. This survey covers local authority primary, secondary and special schools.

6. Data for 2003/04 was for the first time collected at individual level, enabling greater analysis. This also enabled linkage to the September 2004 pupil census information. However in 2004/05 for 1,902 exclusions linkage to the census dataset was not possible, due mainly to a change of pupil identifier. This has been shown in all relevant tables as "data not available".

7. While information is received at pupil level, there is currently no unique pupil identifier for tracking pupils who move school to another authority. This means that in analysis where the distinction between different pupils is important ( e.g. the number of individual pupils excluded) some pupils with two or more exclusions may have been counted as separate pupils with one exclusion each.

8. In 2003/04 information was not collected for the length of the exclusion. This information was calculated using the exclusion start and finish dates, taking out weekends and holidays, although this method contained some inaccuracy. For 2004/05 length of exclusion was collected, this may affect comparisons between the two years data.

9. It was found that information on temporary exclusions was not consistent with information on absence due to temporary exclusion received in the attendance survey. It is envisaged that validation checks will be built into information systems to ensure that consistent data is recorded.

10. In table 9, a two-year average of exclusion rate per 1,000 pupils has been used to reduce the instability in rates of exclusion due to small numbers in several minority ethnic groups.

11. For the first time this year data was collected on whether a child was looked after by the local authority at the time of their exclusion from school. This indicator has been used to calculate numbers of exclusions in table 11. Figures for the number of pupils who have been looked after at any point during the year are not collected centrally. It has therefore been necessary to calculate rates based on those pupils who were looked after at the time of the census.

12. Revisions made to the specifications for data collection for 2004/05, necessary to integrate IT systems in schools, have resulted in the exclusions data no longer being a source of information on the victim of physical assaults, i.e. whether a pupil or member of staff was the victim. This information is now monitored through a three-yearly sample survey on discipline in schools. The latest survey is being undertaken this year.

Other information

13. Where a figure is zero, or rounds to zero, the symbol - is used.

14. This report was edited by:
Matt Flanagan, Mal Cooke, Louise Flanagan, Colin Gallacher.

15. This is a National Statistics publication. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

16. All tables are available on the Scottish Executive website at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/bulletins/00471


17. Public enquiries (non-media) about the information contained in this notice should be addressed to

Matt Flanagan

Pupil, Teacher and School Statistics
Room 1B
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ.

Telephone 0131 244 0300
or e-mail school.stats@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

18. Media enquiries about the information in this notice should be addressed to:
Marion MacKay : 0131 244 3070