Pupils in North Yorkshire excluded dozens of times for racist abuse last year

Schools in North Yorkshire excluded pupils for racist bullying on dozens of occasions last year.

Thursday, 6th August 2020, 2:00 pm
North Yorkshire schools excluded students 42 times for racist abuse in 2018-19. Photo: PA Images

Anti-racism campaign group Hope Not Hate said a national rise in the number of exclusions due to racism is a concern, but that schools are clamping down on the behaviour.

Department for Education data shows North Yorkshire’s schools excluded students 42 times for racist abuse in 2018-19.

That was up from 32 in the previous academic year.

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The figures include abuse by children at state-funded primary, secondary and special schools in the area.

Owen Jones, head of education at Hope Not Hate, said the number of additional racist abuse exclusions last year was “worrying”.

However, he added: “From what we have seen, there is a much better concerted effort to clamp down and take it more seriously.”

Mr Jones said racist abuse is a particular concern in rural and coastal schools, which have mostly white student populations.

Angela Wright, education development lead at anti-hate crime charity Stop Hate UK, said targets for racist incidents are becoming increasingly younger.

A DfE spokesman said permanent exclusion should be a last resort.

He added: “We know that some pupils will return to school in September having experienced loss or adversity as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which is why we have also provided guidance for school leaders on how to re-engage these pupils and create the right classroom environment to help them thrive.”

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