DUNDEE is excluding more pupils than any other area in Scotland, shocking new figures have revealed.
The city’s primaries and secondaries had 1,862 exclusions in the 2010-11 academic year – an average of more than nine on every school day.
A total of 847 disruptive pupils were excluded during the year.
The figure of 107 exclusions for every 1,000 pupils, is more than twice the national average of 40.
Dundee City Council’s education chief Liz Fordyce said exclusion was a crucial option in dealing with unruly children and said the area had seen a drop in the number of exclusions from the previous year.
She said: “The statistics published by the Scottish government in December show that the amount of exclusions had decreased in Dundee between 2009-10 and 2010-11.
“Exclusion is one of a range of measures that is used to manage unacceptable behaviour in our schools.
“We want to try to ensure that the important work of learning and teaching can continue without disruption.
“The support of families is very important.
“Parents and carers are always involved before an excluded pupil returns to school, so that there is input from the home in efforts to improve behaviour.”
In 2008-09 Dundee handed out 1,808 exclusions, a rate of 103 per 1,000 pupils. The city had the highest rate of exclusions at a time when the national average stood at just under 50.
Despite the high exclusion rate, the council did not remove any pupils permanently from their schools.
Scotland saw 26,844 exclusion incidents last year, a drop of 11% from the previous year when 30,211 were recorded.
Pupils were removed permanently from the school register in 60 cases, though in some cases a deal was reached with parents to move their children to another school without formally striking them from the register.
In many cases pupils were excluded for physically assaulting another pupil or member of school staff.
Councils neighbouring Dundee have much lower exclusion rates. Perth and Kinross saw a rate of 33 per 1,000 pupils, while Fife saw 38 exclusions per 1,000, and Angus recorded just 28 per 1,000.
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “The number of exclusions across the country fell by 11% in the last school year, a 40% reduction since 2006-07. This drop is the result of a concerted effort by schools and local authorities, supported by the Scottish Government to work with children and young people most at risk of exclusion and keep them included, engaged and involved in their educations.”