Revealed: The 10 schools in Norfolk with the most permanent exclusions

PUBLISHED: 08:04 23 October 2017 | UPDATED: 20:00 23 October 2017

Photo of a teacher and their class of students hard at work. PICTURE: Archant Library

Photo of a teacher and their class of students hard at work. PICTURE: Archant Library

Ten schools in Norfolk accounted for more than a third of all permanent exclusions made in the county last year.

Of the 266 permanent exclusions in the county in the 2016/17 school year, 34pc - 91 - were made by 10 of the county’s 424 schools.

The figures, revealed under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from Norfolk County Council, show that City Academy Norwich excluded the most, with 26 permanent exclusions made during the year.

They also show a particular problem in Great Yarmouth, with Great Yarmouth High School, Cliff Park Ormiston Academy in Gorleston, Caister Academy and Lynn Grove Academy in Gorleston all in the 10.

It comes as the council reveals plans to launch a new service, virtual school and help line focusing on vulnerable children, to support headteachers on the brink of exclusion.

Chris Snudden, assistant director for children’s services, said: “We know this is a problem and the figures are higher than we would like.

“But we don’t want there to be an image that Norfolk is not inclusive - the vast majority of schools in Norfolk do not exclude. That’s not to say there isn’t room to improve, but it is contained to a smaller proportion that it may appear.”

City Academy Norwich.  PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY City Academy Norwich. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

MORE: Claims of parents being “bamboozled” over the way children are being removed from Norfolk schools

Permanent exclusions have become a key issue in Norfolk in recent years, with the number rising disproportionately high - but Ms Snudden said, last year, only 24pc of schools excluded a pupil.

The other 175 of the 266 were made by those in the 24pc, but the council said it could not provide names of schools which had excluded five or fewer pupils.

The FOI also revealed the majority of exclusion - 188 - were made at secondaries, with 71 made at primaries. The primary figure has jumped from 39 in 2014/15.

Chris Snudden Chris Snudden

Figures earlier this year showed Norfolk excluded more children aged under 11 than almost anywhere else in the country.

Bringing down permanent exclusions has been identified as a priority in a £6m government opportunity areas scheme for Norwich. The city is one of six areas with high deprivation the government is focusing on.

One headteacher working on the county’s coast said schools faced mounting pressure on all sides.

“You know other children are being affected, but you know that excluding that pupil gives them no guarantee for the future,” they said. “Equally, you don’t have the support to look after them, but know no-one else does.

“I’ve excluded before because I’ve not known what else to do, and while there was a certain amount of relief, it’s a really difficult decision. These figures are too high - but heads are sometimes in impossible situations.”

A spokesperson for the Norfolk Primary Headteachers’ Association (NPHA) and Norfolk Secondary Education Leaders (NSEL) said: “School leaders are working at the heart of our communities and are always trying to find solutions to very complex issues.

University Technical College Norfolk. Photo: Bill Smith University Technical College Norfolk. Photo: Bill Smith

“We’ve been working with the council and other partners to try to reduce the number of permanent exclusions, while continuing to support staff, families and learners because we firmly believe in an education system that cares for all and includes everyone. Every child and young person must have the opportunity to learn and be the best they can be. Permanent exclusion is always the last resort.”

MORE: Number of expelled pupils waiting for an education in Norfolk soars to almost 120

Case study: City Academy Norwich

Of CAN’s 26 exclusions, 19 were made in the autumn term, five in the spring term and two in the summer.

Acting principal Debbie Edwards admitted it had become a “major issue” and said they started to reevaluate their approach, with certain approaches proving successful.

She said early intervention had been key, with teachers working with primaries to identify pupils who may be challenging, as well as attending year six reviews of pupils with education, health and care plans.

They arranged immediate meetings with pupils given warnings, upped teacher training and put more of a focus on children’s home situations and mental health. They created a stuck cases forum, to focus on challenging cases, allowed for more flexibility for children needing extra support and worked with charity Ormiston Families.

Particular praise went to the Mancroft Advice Project, which visits the school twice a week, runs after-school activities, organises family mediation and direct counselling. She said their help was “incredible” and they were “very valued” at the school.

“We absolutely don’t have all the answers and it is an ongoing issue,” she said. “But we knew it was not good enough, that we needed to do something and it’s certainly been a focus.”

What is the council planning to do?

• Launch a Vulnerable Groups Achievement and Access Service within its children’s services team.

It will focus on pupils who have been excluded, have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and have English as an additional language, among others.

It will by headed up by Mark Adams, who is already at the county council and has 23 years as a headteacher behind him.

• Create a new Virtual School for SEND.

• Recruit challenge partners from schools to work on exclusions.

• A designated duty desk to give headteachers considering exclusion extra support and information on alternatives.

• A four-tier system, shaped by schools, with other options.

• It will also continue with a new charging structure, which sees all the funding associated with a pupil removed from the excluding school.

Other news

52 minutes ago

A fashion show held by a networking group has raised money for a dementia charity.

53 minutes ago

Necton is getting into the festive mood by ushering in the advent season with a Christmas concert.

54 minutes ago

The Swaffham and District Lions have supported BBC Children in Need by bringing a very special guest to a Swaffham supermarket.


Residents in Dereham will be given the opportunity to voice their concerns over roads and find out more about local policing during an upcoming public meeting.

Most Read

Yesterday, 15:52

A festive event is coming to Swaffham in December to celebrate the annual Christmas lights switch on.

Read more
Town Council

The Met Office has issued a weather warning for strong winds across the region.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:56

Jade Brown lost her father when she was just nine years old after a road crash. Here, 20 years on from that terrible day, she tells ANDREW PAPWORTH how she coped with loss at such a young age – and how she is now trying to keep her dad’s memory alive.

Read more
Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Swaffham Rotary Club have presented a prize to the talented winner of their Schools Art Competition.

Read more
Abel Homes
Thursday, November 16, 2017

A number of burglaries in the Breckland area in which jewellery and cash were stolen may be linked, police have said.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 14°C

min temp: 11°C

Digital Edition

Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter