BRADFORD had the worst record in West Yorkshire for exclusions due to physical assault against pupils in 2017/18.

Figures from the Department of Education (DfE, analysed by Newsquest's Data Investigations Unit, also showed exclusions generally had risen by nearly two thirds in state-maintained primary and secondary schools, between 2015/16 and 2017/18.

This includes both permanent and fixed-period exclusions.

There were 935 exclusions for pupil assaults in 2017/18.

Bradford is in the top 15 in the country for that same category, while it is second only behind Sheffield in the wider region.

This figure has also risen sharply since 2015/16.

There were 516 exclusions due to physical assault against pupils back then, meaning that number has increased by 81 per cent to 2017/18.

It is a trend that is reflected right across the board for exclusions in Bradford schools.

There was a 61 per cent rise in the figure of total exclusions from 2015/16 to 2017/18.

In total, that equated to 11,107 exclusions across the three years.

Ms Chris Keates, acting general secretary of NASUWT - The Teachers' Union - declared the state is to blame.

She said: "The Government must take responsibility for the impact of policies which have reduced or removed internal and external specialist support for pupils for whom behaviour issues are a barrier to learning.

"These impacts have driven qualified and specialist teachers out of the profession, narrowed the curriculum offer - increasing disaffection among pupils and limiting their life chances - and have drastically cut support for children, young people and families."

Nearly a third of that total figure for Bradford over the analysed period can be attributed to assaulting a pupil or adult, or for drug and alcohol issues.

There were 258 pupils excluded from the city's schools for assaulting adults in 2015/16.

This rose by just under a quarter to 319 in 2017/18.

But, that was a drop from the academic year before, where 336 students had to be excluded.

Drug and alcohol related issues are still causing exclusion problems for the city's schools though.

The numbers are significantly lower than the two categories of assault against others.

A total of 200 pupils were excluded for drug and alcohol issues over the three period, in comparison to 913 for assault against adults, and 2092 for assault against pupils.

That's just under two per cent of all exclusions over that time.

But the figure has increased by 47 per cent from 2015/16 to 2017/18 - indicating it is a growing problem.

Simon Kay, of Young Cumbria, has worked with youngsters across England and Scotland, including those with drug and alcohol misuse concerns.

He claimed exclusions are often used as a “quick-fix solution”.

He said: "Whilst it is important to maintain a healthy learning environment for all staff and pupils in a school, evidence has shown there are far more effective ways to do this than by simply excluding any pupils who offend.

"There are a whole range of options available to schools in order to support them to work with disruptive pupils within the school environment, many of which are never even considered before a child is excluded."