DHI statement on school exclusions

DHI statement on school exclusions

flickr photo by thelefthandman shared under a Creative Commons License

As a charity working with disadvantaged and vulnerable young people, we are shocked to discover that school exclusions for drug/alcohol incidents in the West of England have risen by 65% in just five years.

Analysis of government data shows that from 2012/13 to 2016/17, school exclusions for drug/alcohol related matters in Bath & North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bristol and Wiltshire have rapidly increased from 170 to 281 per year.

Research by Barnardo’s found that even with exclusions for only a few days, young people ‘fall behind and find the return to school socially awkward’. Many young people who had been excluded even talked about how they had spent their days smoking cannabis. We worry that removing the structure of a school day from a young person who is misusing substances will often only serve to exacerbate the problem.

We believe that the best course of action when a young person is misusing drugs or alcohol is to talk and, more importantly, to listen.

We would encourage schools to get in touch with Project 28 in Bath & North East Somerset or Motiv8 in Wiltshire, rather than moving quickly to exclude pupils for substance misuse.

This news follows research from Volteface and Mentor UK into, among other things, school exclusions for drug/alcohol related matters

Sign up for the DHI newsletter

Get news from Developing Health & Independence in your inbox. See our privacy policy.