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Younger children being excluded in school

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Younger children being excluded in school

TODDLERS negatively affected by the lockdown measures put in place during covid are displaying “dysregulated behaviours” when they reach primary school, an education chief confirmed this week.

Pupils being temporarily excluded due to bad behaviour has climbed to a rate of 13.38 half days per 1000 pupils last year – far exceeding the target of 7.95 half days.

While many expected these excluded pupil stats to mainly involve teenagers in secondary school, that has not been the case.

At a meeting in Dumfries yesterday, Lochar Councillor Ivor Hyslop said: “We’re now seeing increases. Surely as we move away from covid that shouldn’t be coming through — or is it younger children that are actually being excluded more?”

Replying, chief education officer Jim Brown said: “What we’re seeing is the impact of covid on young people as they are now in school.

“So, in other words, yes the rates of exclusion are increasing for younger children.

“Our overall position is that exclusion rates are reducing, and that has been the target. We can see that manifest in secondary school exclusions.”

An education update report, covering April-September 2023, was also shown to councillors, which revealed that school exclusion rates for unruly behaviour was much higher than expected.

The mental health strain placed on youngsters during the covid lockdowns has been linked to a deterioration in their behaviour in the classroom.

Annan and Eskdale, Be, Front

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