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Exclusions from Schools, 2001/2002

DescriptionStatistics Publication Notice detailing latest exclusion statistics
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateFebruary 20, 2003


Statistics Publication Notice

Education Series

ISSN 1479-7569


revised 1 21 July 2003

A Scottish Executive National Statistics Publication

This document is also available in pdf format (80k)

The results of the survey on exclusions from schools are published today by the Scottish Executive Education Department. The results relate to the school year 2001/2002. Exclusions, in this context, include both temporary exclusions and pupils removed from the register.

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

The main findings are:

  • During 2001/2002 there were 37,442 exclusions from local authority primary, secondary and special schools in Scotland, a decrease of three per cent from the 2000/2001 figure. 85 per cent were from secondary schools, twelve per cent were from primary schools, and three per cent were from special schools. (Tables 1, 2a, 2b and 2c)
  • Over 99 per cent of all exclusions were temporary. In 332 cases pupils were removed from the register of the school, an increase of 3 per cent from the 2000/2001 figure of 322. ( Table 1)
  • Overall, male pupils accounted for 81 per cent of all exclusions. ( Chart 1)
  • Exclusion rates peaked during S3, with 172 exclusions per 1,000 pupils. ( Chart 2)
  • About 87% of all temporary exclusions lasted one week or less. ( Table 3).
  • During 2001/2002, 20,596 pupils (three per cent of pupils) were temporarily excluded from school. Of these, almost two-thirds were excluded on one occasion only and one fifth were temporarily excluded twice. 52 pupils were temporarily excluded ten times or more. ( Table 4)
  • Of all exclusions with known circumstances, 24 per cent were for general or persistent disobedience; 17 per cent involved verbal abuse of members of staff; and 13 per cent involved physical abuse of fellow pupils. ( Table 6)
  • Of all exclusions: 45 per cent involved children entitled to free school meals; four per cent involved children with a Record of Needs and three per cent involved children looked after by the local authority. Comparison with the overall school population shows that pupils entitled to free school meals, or with a Record of Needs, or looked after by the Local authority, had higher exclusion rates than other pupils. ( Table 7)
  • Overall, there were 50 exclusions per 1,000 pupils from local authority primary, secondary, and special schools in Scotland in 2001/2002. The highest exclusion rates were in West Dunbartonshire (103 per 1,000), Dundee City (95 per 1,000) and Glasgow City (92 per 1,000). ( Table 8)

Table 1 - Total number of exclusions from local authority primary, secondary and special schools, by type of exclusion, 1998/1999 to 2001/2002.
Chart 1 - Total number of exclusions from local authority primary, secondary and special schools, by gender and year, 1998/99 to 2001/02.
Chart 2 - Total number of exclusions from local authority primary, and secondary schools, by stage, 2001/02
Table 2a - Exclusions from local authority primary schools, by stage and gender, 2001/2002.
Table 2b - Exclusions from local authority secondary schools, by stage and gender, 2001/2002.
Table 2c - Exclusions from local authority special schools, by gender, 2001/2002.
Table 3 - Temporary exclusions by duration, 2001/2002.
Table 4 - Exclusions by the number of times that pupils were temporarily excluded, 2001/2002.
Table 5a - Total number of exclusions by ethnic background, 2001/2002.
Table 5b - Estimates of exclusions per 1,000 pupils, by ethnicity, 2001/02.
Chart 3 - Estimates of exclusions per 1,000 pupils, by ethnicity, 2001/02.
Table 6 - Total number of exclusions, by circumstances, 2001/2002.
Table 7 - Other information on exclusions, 2001/2002.
Table 8 - Exclusions from local authority primary, secondary, and special schools, by type of exclusion and local authority, 2001/2002.
Table 9 - Temporary exclusions from local authority primary, secondary and special schools, by different pupils temporarily excluded, and local authority, 2001/2002.

  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. 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. The process of being removed and subsequently receiving education elsewhere can either take place with or without a break in school attendance.
  3. 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 1998/1999 school year.
  4. Also, on 20 July 1999, the Scottish Executive published an Action Plan for the implementation in Scotland of the recommendations made in the Macpherson Report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence. In the Action Plan, the Executive made a commitment to publish information at a national level on the ethnic identity of excluded pupils in Scotland. Information on the ethnicity of all pupils in Scotland was collected for the first time in September 2002, and is due to be published by June 2003. Exclusion rates by ethnicity will be made available soon after.
  5. Following the issue of Circular 2/98, the Scottish Executive collected and collated this additional information from local authorities for the first time in September 1999.
  6. This is the fourth year that this 'Exclusions from Schools' survey has been run. Returns were received from all local authorities. However, in some cases some authorities were unable to provide information on the duration of exclusions, circumstances which lead to the exclusions or information on the number of times that pupils were excluded. In some cases, the ethnicity of the pupil was also unknown. Therefore, the results for these four categories have been expressed as a percentage of known information.
  7. All tables are available on the Scottish Executive website at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/bulletins/00240-00.asp.


8. Public enquiries (non-media) about the information contained in this notice should be addressed to Mal Cooke, Statistician, Scottish Executive Education Department, Room 1A, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ. Telephone 0131 244 1689

or e-mail ea.stats@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

9. Media enquiries about the information in this notice should be addressed to:
Press Education: 0131 244 2087

Statistics Publication Notice
21 July 2003


1 This document has been revised since it was originally published in February 2003 to include exclusion rates by ethnicity (table 5b), and to use amended pupil numbers for calculation of rates (tables 8 and 9).