Youth violence in Scottish schools a ‘national disgrace’


Calum D Liddle

6000 secondary school pupils were expelled or suspended last year for fighting, assaulting staff and carrying weapons.


The figures, released under a Veritas freedom of information request show Hillpark Secondary in Glasgow is the most violent school in Scotland, with 120 exclusions for violence last year.
The statistics show unruly pupils were barred from school at a rate of more than 100 each week in 2007-08.

There were also 400 youngsters excluded from primary schools during the same period.

More than 100 violent incidents involved the use of an “improvised weapon” against teachers and pupils.

Shawlands Academy, also in Glasgow, had the second worst record for violence, with 98 exclusions for fighting, including six cases where a member of staff was assaulted.

St Matthew’s secondary in North Ayrshire reported 90 exclusions, while at Our Lady and St Patrick’s High in West Dunbartonshire, violent behaviour led to 66 exclusions. The worst primary school was Benarty in Lochgelly, Fife, which recorded 29 assaults.

Pupils at Camstradden primary in Drumchapel were also among the worst behaved, with 24 violent incidents, while Strathmore primary in Angus recorded 20.


Bill Aitken, Conservative MSP, told Veritas that head teachers need more powers to discipline pupils amid fears that students exploit their lack of authority.


Aitken said: “Discipline is an integral part of the schooling process. Clearly something is wrong in a society were 6000 pupils are told to leave school due to violent behaviour – it is a national disgrace.”


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