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 Ladette culture hits schools, as booze and knife cases soar

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Join date : 2009-05-07
Age : 36
Location : Scotland

PostSubject: Ladette culture hits schools, as booze and knife cases soar   Sun 30 Aug 2009, 11:13 am

Ladette culture hits schools as booze and knife cases soar

Written by Fiona Gray, Published on the 8th of March, 2009

Source (The Scotsman) :

THE ladette culture of young women binge drinking and fighting is now taking hold in Scotland's classrooms, disturbing new figures reveal.

Official statistics from the government show that increasing numbers of girls have been excluded from school for alcohol abuse, knife crime and threatening behaviour over the past year.

The figures reveal that cases of girls sent home from school for assault with a weapon increased by 50% in 2007-08.

And alcohol misuse became more of a problem among girls than boys last year, with more than 200 instances where girls were excluded after being caught with drink at school.

Cases of schoolgirls threatening to damage property and refusing to attend classes also went up. Last night head teachers confirmed the trend of "ladette culture" in secondary schools and MSPs called on the Government to investigate the extent of what they called a "worrying" trend.

The increasingly common sight of women binge drinking in city centres and becoming involved in fights has fuelled fears of ladette culture across the UK. Last month, a 33% jump in sales of vodka in the past five years was put down to women drinking the spirit in large quantities, and a report last November showed that cases of women attacking their partners had doubled in seven years.

The latest official statistics on school exclusions – for the year 2007-08 – came out in January. Scotland on Sunday has re-examined the figures to reveal the trends among boys and girls.

Our analysis show that boys remain by far by the biggest offenders: there were 7,902 cases of female temporary exclusions from secondary school but three times as many boys were sent home.

However, serious wrongdoing by girls appears to be increasing rapidly. The number of exclusions among girls for physical assaults with a weapon increased by 50%, from 22 instances to 33.

There was also a surge in the number of girls sent home for alcohol misuse, which went from 163 in 2006-07 to 215 last year, an increase of almost a third. The alcohol problem became more profound among girls than boys, who had only 168 exclusions.

Figures for girls refusing to attend class and threatening to damage school property also went up by 13% and 14% respectively, adding further evidence to the idea of a "ladette culture" within schools. Ronnie Smith of the EIS said: "These figures help us to set to one side any stereotypical views there may be that boys are the ones that are violent or engaged in drinking. If we have a trend then this is something we need to target."

Ken Cunningham, general secretary of School Leaders Scotland, added that teachers were facing a greater challenge in the classroom with girls' behaviour.

He said: "There seems to have been a trend for girls to become more violent and be more involved with alcohol recently.

"We need to keep an eye on these issues regardless of gender, but the fact that it's happening more with girls is indicative of the size of the problem and the need to eradicate it.

"It's a worry for society that this 'ladette' culture has reached schools"

Conservative education spokeswoman Liz Smith said: "I'm very concerned about the level of aggressive behaviour, which is unacceptable."

She added that recent statistics revealing that women in Scotland are more likely to die from alcohol-related illnesses than men in England showed alcohol abuse was increasingly a female issue north of the border.

She said: "It's very worrying that girls are drinking so young and there is enormous peer pressure to be involved in these things."

However, a Scottish Government spokesman said: "Girls continue to be less likely to be excluded on grounds of violence than boys. Overall, the percentage of girls being excluded has also fallen slightly, accounting for around one fifth of exclusions.

"The number of pupils excluded specifically for assaults with a weapon represents less than one 10th of 1% of Scotland's pupils.

"However, one assault is always one too many. That is why the Government is funding the work of the Violence Reduction Unit, promoting education programmes on the dangers of knife carrying."
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