Five year olds being suspended from Fraser Coast schools

VIOLENT, abusive and destructive five year olds are getting the boot from Fraser Coast schools.

Prep kids are among the 10,239 cases of suspension at the region's schools over five years.

The coast had the ninth highest level of suspensions across the state.

Rounding out the top 10 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 and Rockhampton Council/Livingstone Shire region on 10,151.

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

An analysis of Education Department figures shows there were 7911 short-term suspensions.

There were 1200 one to 10-day bans and 820 suspensions lasting six to 20 days.

In the same period, 85 students were expelled.

>> Hervey Bay High tops list for 1-5 day student bans

>> Majority of students suspended are in Year 9

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 with 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."

Secondary school now begins at Year 7.



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