Page last updated at 13:56 GMT, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 14:56 UK

Foyle tops school suspension list

Schoolchildren (generic)
The pupils were suspended for physical attacks on school staff

Secondary schools in the Foyle area suspended more pupils for physical attacks on staff in 2006-07 than anywhere else in Northern Ireland.

Out of a total of 196, 32 pupils were suspended in the Foyle area. 70 pupils were also suspended from primary schools in Northern Ireland.

East Antrim MLA Alastair Ross asked for the figures in an Assembly question.

Brendan Harron from the Irish National Teachers' Organisation said more had to be done to protect teachers.

"If people are assaulted in hospitals or social security agencies, the police are called and those responsible are removed.

"We tend to take a softer approach in schools and teachers are paying the price for that

"I recall one young teacher who rang six weeks into the term because her health was breaking down and she felt she couldn't do her job because of two particularly badly-behaved P1 pupils who were making the rest of the class unteachable.

"She felt she wasn't able to cope and she wasn't able to do her job because she hadn't received the training and support," he said.

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