MORE than 1,700 pupils in Barnsley were suspended from school in the spring term last year, new figures have revealed.

It comes as the number of pupils suspended in one term across England topped 200,000 for the first time with The Children’s Society urging local authorities to review how decisions are made and provide better help for children struggling with school.

Department for Education figures show a total of 1,798 pupils in Barnsley were suspended from school in the 2021/22 spring term, the latest figures available.

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It’s down from 1,817 across the same time period in 2018/19, before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nationally, 201,000 pupils were suspended in the 2021/22 spring term up from 184,000 in the autumn and the highest on record.

The Children’s Society said the rising number of suspensions is concerning, with poor behaviour often indicating children are suffering from unmet special education needs or larger issues outside of school, such as poor mental health or abuse.

Iryna Pona, policy and impact manager at the charity, said: “It is important that when these behavioural changes show up, schools work with social care and other local agencies to ensure the needs of the child are understood and help is offered.

“Unfortunately, we know this often doesn’t happen and specialist support is not available, meaning a suspended child can then be more vulnerable to other risks such as grooming for sexual or criminal exploitation.”

Ms Pona called on school and local authorities to review how suspension decisions are made, with a greater focus on providing children with help to address the underlying issues.

She also urged the government to increase funding and roll out support, so children receive the help they require before problems escalate.