Lewisham has England’s third highest school exclusion rate

Exclusions from schools are high in Lewisham Pic: Arria Belli

Exclusions from schools in Lewisham are high, according to new figures Pic: Arria Belli

Lewisham has the third highest rate of exclusions of pupils from secondary schools of any area in England, figures have revealed.

There were 78 permanent exclusions from state secondary schools in the borough in the acamedic year 2015/16, which is more than Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Croydon combined.

This means that one in every 200 secondary pupils in the borough was permanently excluded, according to statistics from the Department for Education.

The Lewisham rate, which is triple the national average, has risen by a quarter since 2010/11. Eastlondonlines reported on similarly worrying figures two years ago, suggesting that little has changed.

Lewisham tops the rankings in London, with other deprived inner city boroughs like Tower Hamlets recording 10 times fewer exclusions.

Nearly 1,000 pupils received more than one fixed-term exlusion, which equates to one in 20 students in the borough.

Although there were no permanent exclusions in the borough’s special schools, there were also over 100 fixed-term exclusions, which is double the national average.

A Lewisham Council spokesperson said: “We are working hard to address the high level of pupil exclusions from our schools.

“There is a Lewisham-wide collaborative approach to reducing permanent exclusions which has already resulted in a 20 per cent drop between academic years 2015/16 and 2016/17,” the said.

“This is due to schools taking responsibility for reducing exclusions and targets being set as part of the Lewisham Secondary Challenge.”

Nationwide the number of exclusions in on the rise. The 5,445 permanent exclusions in 2015/16 represented a 35% increase over a five-year period.

An investigation by the Times Educational Supplement (TES) found that permanent exclusions rose as much as 300% in some areas in the latest academic year.

Across all the local authorities that responded to FOI requests, there was an 12% increase on average.

Experts say the rise is partly down to increasing pressure on schools to succeed in exam res