Nearly 30 pupils a day are being expelled or suspended in Birmingham and Sandwell because of assaults or abuse hurled at school staff or other pupils, it can be revealed.
Local authority figures show 88 children were expelled and 5,183 suspended last year for physical assaults, verbal abuse and threatening behaviour on fellow pupils and teachers.
The figures are the equivalent to 27 exclusions for each school day in Birmingham and Sandwell schools during the 2009-10 school year.
A spokesman for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) said staff and students had “the right to work in a safe environment”.
The spokesman said “There needs to be a very strong behavioural policy in schools which needs to rigidly adhered to so pupils know that if they do step out of line, there will be severe consequences.
“Behaviour which disrupts learning and makes staff and students feel unsafe cannot be tolerated.”
In Birmingham, there were 56 expulsions for physical assaults against fellow pupils and adults and 17 for verbal abuse or threatening behaviour last year.
The city also recorded a total of 4,828 suspensions, including 2,465 for assaults against students and 489 against adults.
But while the number of permanent exclusions increased from 62 in 2008/09 to 73 last year, the number of suspensions fell by 650.
A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: “Anti-social and disruptive behaviour cannot be tolerated in our schools.
“However, excluding a pupil, particularly permanently, has to be a last resort because of the stigma that goes with it and the impact it has on the education of young people.
“In Birmingham we make every effort to keep pupils on the right track. It is important that bad behaviour is not tolerated but also that we work together as an authority, as teachers, school support staff and as parents to address this issue.”
Sandwell averaged just under two exclusions a day, with 15 permanent exclusions and 355 fixed term suspensions.
But Sandwell Council education chief Coun Bob Badham said the numbers represented a “tiny minority” and that the number of suspensions had fallen by more than two thirds between 2008/09-2009/10.
Coun Badham said: “It is very encouraging to see these dramatic reductions in both fixed term and permanent exclusions in Sandwell.
“It shows strategies schools are putting into place are working to avoid exclusions.
“The long-term damage of permanent exclusions to the young person, their family and wider community is considerable, and this has a financial impact too for local agencies.
“The more we can do to get this small minority of young people to play a more positive role in their school community, the better.”
* In Dudley, a total of 1,154 pupils were excluded last year, including 15 who were permanently expelled.
The authority also saw a drop in the number of exclusions from 2008-09 academic year, when 1,244 students were excluded, 19 permanently.
Coun Liz Walker, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The local authority works closely with schools and parents to reduce the number of children permanently excluded by offering support through the short stay schools and other relevant specialist support services.”