Schools in class warfare

VIOLENT, abusive and destructive five-year-olds are getting the boot from Bundaberg schools.

Chaotic prep kids are among the 6228 cases of suspension at the region's schools over five years.

Bundaberg had the 14th highest level of suspensions across the state.

The top 10 areas were Brisbane on 31,742, Logan with 31,500, Moreton Bay on 31,432, the Gold Coast on 21,066, Ipswich with 20,283, Townsville on 14,289, Sunshine Coast/Noosa on 14,221 Cairns with 11,313, the Fraser Coast on 10,239 and Rockhampton Council/Livingstone Shire region on 10,151.

Special APN research reveals one-to-five day bans were the most common punishment at Bundaberg schools between 2010 and 2014 in the region.

An analysis of Education Department figures shows there were 4584 short-term suspensions.

Long suspensions, where students were removed for six to 20 days, were the second highest exclusion method, while one-to-10 day suspensions came in third on 651.

In the same period, 69 students were expelled from Bundaberg schools.

In a separate analysis of data covering the department's north coast catchment shows 444 prep students were suspended between 2010 and 2014.

The north coast covers Bundaberg, Gympie, the Fraser Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

In total, 20,597 prep to Year 7 pupils were given the boot for a range of offences including violence involving objects, verbal abuse and refusing to take part in school events.

Over the five years, 44,749 secondary students were excluded from north coast schools for misbehaviour.

Year 9 students, on 13,039, were the main offenders.

Queensland Association of State School Principals president Michael Fay said the prep and primary-school pupil suspension rates were low when compared to the overall number of students in the junior grades.

"When you consider that for each of the years mentioned there were around 45,000 prep students enrolled in state schools, this number constitutes a very small percentage of prep students who actually are suspended," he said.

Mr Fay said suspensions and expulsions were last resort punishments.

"It is also really important that significant inappropriate behaviours are not condoned or ignored in these early years, to help those young students who need support to make better choices - throughout their later years," he said.

"Schools already employ a range of strategies to provide a caring and supportive environment for learners and for the overwhelming majority of children, these strategies work really well.

"However, a minority of students do struggle to meet the expectations set for appropriate behaviour, and suspension becomes a necessary tool for school principals to use to continue to ensure that learning environments are safe and productive environments for all pupils and teachers."

SCHOOL BANS

Types of suspensions across the Bundaberg region include:

  • Exclusion, 69
  • Long Suspension (11-20 days), 23
  • Long Suspension (6-20 days), 730
  • Short Suspension (1-10 days), 651
  • Short Suspension (1-5 days), 4584

BREAKING BAD

Suspensions by grade in the north coast Education Department region, which covers Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gympie and the Sunshine Coast:

  • Year 9, 13,039
  • Year 10, 11,061
  • Year 8, 10,739
  • Year 11, 6778
  • Year 7, 4713
  • Year 6, 3704
  • Year 5, 3338
  • Year 12, 3132
  • Year 4, 2773
  • Year 3, 2435
  • Year 2, 1867
  • Year 1, 1323
  • Prep, 444
  • Special education, 176

Source: Department of Education

WHERE WE RANK

Region, suspensions

  • 1 Brisbane, 31,742
  • 2 Logan 31,500
  • 3 Moreton Bay, 31,432
  • 4 Gold Coast, 21,066
  • 5 Ipswich, 20,283
  • 6 Townsville, 14,289
  • 7 Sunshine Coast (includes Noosa), 14,221
  • 8 Cairns, 11,313
  • 9 Fraser Coast, 10,239
  • 10 Rockhampton (including Livingstone Shire), 10,151
  • 11 Redland, 8406
  • 12 Toowoomba, 8086
  • 13 Mackay, 6852
  • # 14 Bundaberg, 6228
  • 15 South Burnett, 5111
  • 16 Gladstone, 4331
  • 17 Scenic Rim, 4095
  • 18 Gympie, 3693
  • 19 Lockyer Valley, 3477
  • 20 Western Downs, 3407
  • 21 Somerset, 2842
  • 22 Southern Downs, 2742
  • 23 Mount Isa, 2501
  • 24 Mareeba, 2406
  • 25 Whitsunday, 2345
  • 35 Banana, 988

TOP TEN

The top 10 Bundaberg schools by suspensions between 2010 and 2014:

School, suspensions

  • Bundaberg State High School, 1486
  • Kepnock State High School, 1382
  • Bundaberg North State High School, 875
  • Gin Gin State High School, 440
  • Isis District State High School, 401
  • Walkervale State School, 212
  • Thabeban State School, 199
  • Avoca State School, 166
  • Bundaberg North State School, 142
  • Bundaberg West State School, 129
  • Bundaberg Central State School, 111