More than 150 pupils kicked out of Hartlepool schools for attacking and threatening staff

Grief and floral tributes outside Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds, following the death of teacher Anne Maguire
Grief and floral tributes outside Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds, following the death of teacher Anne Maguire

MORE than 150 pupils were kicked out of school in Hartlepool for attacking and threatening staff in the space of just two years.

A total of 153 students were temporarily excluded from town schools before being later allowed to return between 2010-12.

The Department for Education statistics, which are expected to fall later this year, follow the shocking stabbing to death of teacher Ann Maguire at a Catholic school in Leeds on 

Hartlepool headteacher Michael Lee has written to the school to express English Martyrs School’s condolences at the “horrifying incident”.

Eleven Hartlepool secondary school pupils were handed fixed-term exclusions for physically assaulting staff in school in the academic year 2011-12.

A further 67 were kicked out for verbally abusing and threatening behaviour towards staff.

No one was permanently excluded for attacks on teachers.

But that was up on the previous school year when a total of 57 pupils were temporarily excluded from Hartlepool’s primary, secondary and special schools for verbal and physical attacks against adults.

Hartlepool Borough Council says the number of assaults are falling but add even one is too many.

A council spokesman said: “The town’s secondary schools work closely with us and each other to meet the needs of all pupils, including those with challenging behaviour.

“They use a range of strategies to manage pupil behaviour, including the use of fixed-term exclusions and, in the case of serious incidents, permanent exclusions.

“There has been no exclusions during the current school year to date.

“Physical assault against an adult is one of 12 categories used when recording the reason for a pupil’s exclusion, and figures show that the number of physical assaults against adults in Hartlepool schools is falling.

“In the 2011-12 school year, there were 23 such incidents, the figure fell to 19 in 2012-13 and the number has fallen again during the current school year, with nine incidents reported to date.

“No incidents involving the use of a weapon have been reported to us in recent years.

“Any incident is, however, one too many and we will continue to work in partnership with all schools to try to reduce the total still further in the future.”

Wayne Broom, of the NASUWT teachers’ union covering Hartlepool, said the numbers could be even higher as not all cases are reported.

He said: “I would argue it could be even higher if more teachers reported it.

“We don’t want to see any incidents. You have got to try to protect teachers and members of staff in school from physical and verbal abuse.

“It can lead to disruptive education to other pupils, especially if they are in the classroom when it happens.

“What’s important is how the school deal with them. Ideally you want to work with the pupils to try and improve their behaviour.”

Language teacher Mrs Maguire, 61, was just months away from retiring when she was knifed to death in front of pupils on Monday.

A 15-year-old boy held in connection with her death remains in police custody.