A brief guide for parents/carers and young people.
This booklet does not apply to Independent Schools, city technology colleges, city colleges for the technology of the arts, sixth form colleges, 16-19 academies or 16-19 free schools.
Pupils can only be permanently excluded or suspended for:
• Disciplinary reasons
• If it would seriously harm their education or welfare, or
that of others, were they to remain at school
Pupils can be permanently excluded or suspended for their behaviour outside of school.
Only a Head Teacher can permanently exclude or suspend a
Pupils should not be permanently excluded or suspended
• Having a disability or special education need (SEN) that
the school feel they are unable to meet
• Not doing well with schoolwork
• Their gender, race, religion, or becoming pregnant
• Parent’s behaviour
If a pupil has SEN, school should be making sure they are providing appropriate and necessary SEN support to avoid the need for any suspension or permanent exclusion. If the pupil has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), an interim review should be held if they are at risk of being permanently excluded.
Suspension and Permanent Exclusion from Maintained Schools’ Statutory Guidance states:
“19. Early intervention to address underlying causes of disruptive behaviour should include an assessment of whether appropriate provision is in place to support any SEN or disability that a pupil may have. The head teacher should also consider the use of a multi-agency assessment for a pupil who demonstrates persistent disruptive behaviour.”
For the first 5 days of a suspension, the child must not be seen in a public place during the school day without good reason. You could be fined if you breach this duty.
Suspension and Permanent Exclusion should only be used as a last resort and only, where possible, when all other avenues have been exhausted.
Fixed term exclusion
This means that there is a suspension for a certain number of days. The most a child or young person can be fixed term suspended in one school year is 45 days in total.
If it happens again they may be permanently excluded.
For the first five days of a suspension, the school should take reasonable steps to set and mark work, ensuring that the work is accessible. If your child has been suspended for a period of 5 days or more, then the governing body must arrange a suitable full-time education. This must start no later than day 6.
This is a more serious step for a head teacher/principal to take.
A child should only be permanently excluded for a one-off offence in very serious circumstances or after a number of fixed term suspensions, when the school feels it has tried everything it can to keep a child in school.
For the first 5 days after the permanent exclusion, school should send suitable work home. From day 6 onwards, it is the Local Authority’s responsibility to provide suitable full-time education. You have the right to be consulted and to say which school you would prefer them to attend.
It is unlawful for the school to send a pupil home to ‘cool off’ or because the school can’t cope or meet their needs. This is called an illegal suspension. The only reason a school can ask you to pick up your child is either due to an illness or a formal suspension/permanent exclusion.
Managed moves are a strategy employed by the school to reduce the possibility of a pupil becoming permanently excluded.
A managed move has to be agreed by all parties involved; the home school, the trial school and you – without agreement it cannot move forward. It’s also really important that the pupil’s views and wishes are sought, to see how they feel about this.
If a managed move is agreed by all parties, a form created by the Local Authority has to be filled in and the LA must be informed of what is happening. Depending on where the trial school is, transport may be provided by the LA for your child to attend.
Managed moves last for around 8 weeks; although can be extended under very specific circumstances. Whilst your child is at the trial school, they will remain on roll at the home school. Should the trial be successful, they will be moved onto the roll of the trial school, where they will stay. If the move is unsuccessful, they will move back to the home school and stay on roll there, at that point other strategies should be pursued.
What can you do if you do not agree?
You can put your case to the Governing Body of the school. For a suspension of less than 5½ days, they do not have to meet with you but must consider your views.
Independent Review Panel (IRP)
If the governors agree with the permanent exclusion, then you may ask for an IRP. The IRP may direct the Governors to look at their decision again. You can ask for a SEN expert to be at the IRP if you believe a child has SEN. They can give neutral advice at the panel meeting.
If your child has been excluded from school and has special educational needs and/or disabilities and you would like further support you can book an appointment on our website or contact us on 01603 704070.
Children’s Services Exclusion Helpline
(Independent Provider Information for Special Educational Advice):