Are Norfolk’s primary school children really the worst behaved in England?

Norfolk has the joint-highest rate of primary school children being permanently excluded in England.

Norfolk has the joint-highest rate of primary school children being permanently excluded in England. Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A councillor has dismissed suggestions Norfolk children are the naughtiest in England after new data revealed it has the highest rate of primary school expulsions in the country.

National statistics released yesterday showed 44 Norfolk primary school pupils were permanently excluded in 2013-14 - up from 28 the previous year.

This represents 0.07pc of the school population - more than triple the England-average of 0.02pc - and was only equalled by Tameside, Lincolnshire and Birmingham.

The increase came despite the national and East of England rates remaining unchanged for the past three years.

Suffolk's 27 permanent exclusions represented 0.05pc of its primary school population.

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The figures also revealed a 70pc rise in the number of fixed period exclusions issued in Norfolk primary schools since 2011-12, from 447 to 757.

James Joyce, chairman of Norfolk County Council's Children's Services Committee, said: 'With more than 60,000 children in our primary schools, permanent exclusion represents 0.07pc.

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'Whilst we have more primary schools than other areas we are being compared to, we do recognise our figures are higher and that is one reason why we have set up our new Education Inclusion Service.

'This service will help schools find or commission preventative support to try to tackle the behaviour of their most challenging pupils.

'I don't believe it's fair to assume we have worse behaved children than elsewhere in the country, as safety and behaviour is judged as good or outstanding in the vast majority of Norfolk schools.'

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