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One gun and six knives found in Bradford primary schools
Guns, knives, drugs and booze have been seized from pupils at Bradford schools.
And one of the eight guns and six of the 16 knives found were even in the possession of primary age children, the Telegraph & Argus can reveal today.
More than 2,600 children were given permanent or fixed term exclusions in 2012/13 for reasons which also include arson, attacks on teachers, sexual misconduct and theft.
One teaching union blamed the situation on poor parenting, saying many young children were being exposed to violent images on computer games at home and then were forming a view of a “world without consequences”.
Another union admitted people were often “shocked” to learn at what goes on at primary schools in the district.
Figures released to the T&A by Bradford Council under the Freedom of Information Act show that in the 2012/13 academic year there were 2,217 secondary and 377 primary pupils given fixed term exclusions among the authority’s 212 schools.
In the same period, seven secondary school age pupils and one primary pupil were permanently excluded with the primary exclusion – for possessing a knife – the first incident of a child of that age being expelled in four years.
Action was taken against six primary pupils for “drug and alcohol-related” issues with that figure rising to 47 at secondary schools.
Two primary and five secondary pupils were suspended for arson, four primary and 31 secondary for racist abuse and seven primary and 22 secondary for sexual misconduct.
One of the biggest reasons for exclusion was assault.
In primary schools, physical assaults against staff led to 128 primary pupils and 64 secondary pupils being punished. Assaults against other pupils were the reason for 123 primary and 496 secondary pupils being exlcuded.
Pam Milner, regional spokesman for teaching union NASUWT, said: “Some of these children go home and play on computer games that depict extreme violence and it is a world with no consequences.
“They then have to go to school and the real world the next day. Some of this behaviour you just wouldn’t see 20 years ago.
“Others are just repeating behaviour they see at home and it is a case of society seeping into schools. What is their home life doing to them that lets them come to school with a knife or a gun?”
Ian Murch, Bradford representative of the National Union of Teachers, said: “People are often quite shocked at just what you see in primary schools.
“What these incidents indicate are families with serious problems. These days there are far more children with behavioural difficulties integrated in mainstream schools. This is often behaviour they have learned from home. These are problems that it takes much more than just the school to deal with.”
Councillor Ralph Berry, who holds the children’s services portfolio on Bradford Council, said when incidents such as the confiscation of guns and knives are reported they often lead to investigations by social services and other agencies.
Referring to some of the more extreme reasons for exclusions, he said: “These circumstances would immediately lead to a referral by children’s social care as many of these issues have something to do with their families.
“With weapons there would be some kind of inquiry into why a child would be in possession of such an item. As a father of two daughters, I know that we need to make sure any inappropriate behaviour in schools is dealt with properly.”
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