Rise in exclusions for drug and alcohol-related issues at region's schools

Exclusions for drug and alcohol issues at schools in the Black Country and Staffordshire have risen, figures reveal.

A rise in the number of exclusions across England has prompted the creation of a new cross-party group of MPs to reduce avoidable exclusions of vulnerable children.

Department for Education figures show Staffordshire schools excluded students 156 times for drug and alcohol-related issues in the year 2018 to 2019 – nine permanently and 147 temporarily.

It was an increase on 110 the year before and the highest since records began in 2006 to 2007.

Students were excluded 102 times in Wolverhampton schools for drugs and alcohol in the same year – 21 permanently and 81 temporarily.

It was an increase on 63 the year before and the highest since records began.

In Dudley, pupils were excluded 81 times for the same reasons – with three permanently excluded and 78 temporarily.

'Worrying'

This was an increase on the previous year, when there were 69 exclusions.

While figures show that Walsall schools excluded students 70 times for drug and alcohol-related issues in 2018 to 2019 – 16 permanently and 54 temporarily.

This was an increase on the year before, when there were 31 exclusions.

And in Sandwell, schools in the borough excluded pupils 45 times that year – five permanently and 40 temporarily. This was also an increase on the previous year where there were 37 exclusions.

The exclusions in the Black Country and Staffordshire were among a record 12,180 drug and alcohol-related exclusions across England – an increase of 17 per cent on the year before.

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics said the statistics were “worrying”, and unless the underlying causes were addressed the number excluded may continue to rise.

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