Big increase in school exclusions

3rd October 2008, Comments 1 comment

Behavioural problems said to be the cause of 1,523 students being excluded from Flemish schools during the 2007-2008 school year.

3 October 2008

BELGIUM – The daily "Het Laatste Nieuws" reports that the number of children being excluded from school has almost doubled over the past five years the paper said Thursday. The report is based on figures from the Flemish Education Department.

A total of 1,523 youngsters were excluded from Flemish schools during the 2007-2008 school year; this is almost double the 844 pupils that were excluded during the 2003-2004 school year.

The figures relate to only youngsters that were permanently excluded and had to look for another school.

Truancy and unacceptable behaviour towards fellow pupils and/or teachers are the main reasons for a pupil being expelled.

Schools have noticed an increase in discipline problems among their pupils in recent years.

This, coupled with a more rigorous application of the school rules, has served to drive up the number of exclusions.

Antwerp province topped the list when it came to exclusions in 2007-2008.

The rise in exclusions was biggest in East and West Flanders.

The Flemish Education Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (socialist) told VRT radio that schools should not have to tolerate bad behaviour.

However, he added that excluding a pupil for good was not always the answer.

"This is why we’re investing in time-out, a system where youngsters are taken out of school temporarily."

"We try to re-integrate them into school life, once they have received help to deal with their behavioural problems."

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1 Comment To This Article

  • Susie posted:

    on 20th October 2008, 13:20:03 - Reply

    As a parent of an expat child in a Flemish school I am not surprised by this finding, there are behavioural problems with children which we unfortunately have experienced first hand, clear procedures and recognition of these problems is essential. Also any notification by a parent to teachers should always be taken seriously, this is not always the case.