Thousands of very young children are being excluded from primary schools for physically attacking pupils and teachers, research by The Times shows.Now, I'm sure that a certain percentage of these are the kind of squabbles and 'physical violence' (a slap, a tantrum) that wouldn't have been seen as a problem - and would have been dealt with appropriately - twenty years ago, before we entered our current health & safety, 'touchy-feely' litigious modern times.
But this kind of rise is far too big to just lay at the door of overreacting heads:
More than 1,200 of the fixed-term exclusions in 2007 involved children aged 4 and under. Another 12,000 were under the age of 8.Which families with children attending these schools may breathe a sigh of relief about.
Our survey paints a picture of teachers struggling to deal with violence from ever-younger children, some of whom in effect drop out of the education system before reaching secondary school.
At least, until they stop to wonder where they are spending their days, if not in school...
And it seems more and more teachers are beginning to echo the words of education bloggers like Miss Snuffleupagus and Frank Chalk:
One teacher from a primary school in Norfolk told The Times: “I have worked at several schools and there has been a marked deterioration in behaviour in the last five years. Behaviour strategies don’t seem to work because schools have no power. Teachers are left to get on with it.”Anyone wondering what these children will be doing in 10-15 years time?
Well, they'll probably be doing this.
Or they'll be amusing themselves like this little charmer:
Annika Avery, 20, of Leicester, was given a five-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. She had already admitted dangerous driving.It's normal for people to look for 'reasons for her behaviour', because normal people can't quite grasp the fact that she did it simply because she could.
The court was told that Avery overtook the ambulance at speed and slowed down, causing the vehicle to brake suddenly.
She did this even though the siren was on, Leicester Crown Court heard.
Avery, of Tatlow Road, Glenfield, was said to be under stress at the time of the incident in July 2008, although no other reason was given for her behaviour.
And because it amused her and her passenger at the time:
The driver of the ambulance said at one stage Avery pulled alongside him and she was travelling at 60mph (96km/h) in a 40mph (64km/h) area. The paramedic said he looked across and saw Avery and a male passenger laughing and making obscene gestures.Not a lot of 'stress' shown there. Perhaps someone in the CPS might want to rethink that suspended sentence.
But there's soon going to be more and more Annika Averys out there, and more and more fawn-killers, if we don't start to look at every aspect of how we deal with problem families and their children.