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Figures reveal action used to control unruly pupils.

FIGURES released by councils show how some individual schools in South Wales frequently resort to expulsions and suspensions to punish badly behaved pupils.

The number of suspensions at Pencoed Comprehensive School, Bridgend, is equivalent to one exclusion for every five pupils over the past two years, although that does not account for pupils who are suspended several times.

The number of suspensions at Brynteg Comprehensive School, Bridgend, over the same period is equivalent to one for every 10 pupils - a total of 267 suspensions.

Cyfarthfa High School, Merthyr Tydfil, punished pupils with 308 suspensions over the past two years, accounting for almost two in every five suspensions in the area. Councils say the exclusion of schoolchildren is used as a last resort in their schools.

The information has been released through a series of freedom of information requests submitted to South Wales councils by the Echo.

Cardiff, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Vale of Glamorgan councils refused to disclose any information on the numbers of pupil expulsions and suspensions at their schools.

A total of 20 expulsions and 1,458 suspensions, or fixed-term exclusions, were issued by schools in Bridgend council area in the past two years.

Brynteg Comprehensive School, Bridgend, handed out 267 suspensions, Pencoed Comprehensive School dished out 205 suspensions, Bridgend's Ynysawdre School issued 164, and Porthcawl Comprehensive gave out 161 suspensions.

Councillor Alana Davies, Bridgend cabinet member for children and young people, said using exclusion as a punishment was a matter for individual schools.

She said: "It's very much a last resort, and usually a number of other measures will have been put in place before exclusion is considered. Most exclusions tend to be fixed term rather than permanent, and may last for a few days only."

In the Merthyr Tydfil local authority area, a total of four expulsions and 790 suspensions were issued by schools.

The number of suspensions increased by about 8% from 380 in 2009-10 to 410 last academic year.

Cyfarthfa High School, Merthyr Tydfil, punished pupils with 308 suspensions over the past two years.

And a total of 215 suspensions were dished out to unruly pupils at Afon Taf High School, Troedyrhiw, near Merthyr Tydfil, over the same period. In Caerphilly local authority area, schools issued a total of 1,231 suspensions and 15 expulsions to badly behaved pupils in the academic year of 2009-10. Figures for 2010-11 were not disclosed.

Primary schools in the area gave out 276 suspensions, while the remaining 955 were from secondary schools.

EXCLUSIONS DUE TO ASSAULT OR VIOLENCE TOWARDS SCHOOL STAFF 2009-10 2008-09 Cardiff 207 177 Caerphilly 135 83 RCT 64 41 Vale of Glamorgan 21 39 Merthyr Tydfil 15 6
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 9, 2011
Words:443
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