Good discipline in schools is essential to ensure that all pupils can benefit from the opportunities provided by education. The Government supports Head Teachers in using exclusion as a sanction where it is warranted. However, the decision to permanently exclude a child from school should only be taken in response to a serious breach or persistent breaches of the school’s behaviour policy; and where allowing the child to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the School. The decision to exclude must be lawful, reasonable and fair. Schools have a statutory duty not to discriminate against pupils on the basis of protected characteristics, such as disability or race.
School Exclusion Risks After COVID-19
This report looks at potential new and heightened risks for school exclusions caused by the recent Covid-19 pandemic. Exclusions have risen sharply in England in the last few years. Over-represented groups include children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), from particular ethnic backgrounds and those living in areas of high deprivation. We know the impact of Covid-19 on schools is substantial for practitioners and students. The social and emotional disruption caused by the pandemic and the subsequent school closures is highly likely to have increased or exacerbated student anxiety and other mental health issues. There is also a concern with school connectedness for vulnerable students whose patterns of school attendance have been disrupted. These concerns raise issues around transitions back to school settings.
Changes to the School Exclusion Process During the COVID-19 Outbreak+
This statutory guidance describes the temporary changes we have made to the school exclusion process due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The new regulations change some of the procedures that must be followed in relation to an exclusion, to give greater flexibility to schools, parents and local authorities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. They apply to all maintained schools, academies (including alternative provision academies but excluding 16 to 19 academies) and pupil referral units (PRUs). The normal arrangements and procedures that must follow a decision to exclude on disciplinary grounds (fixed term and permanent) are described in the 2017 statutory guidance ‘Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England’.
- Advice to Schools (including revised Notification Form)+
Advice for Parents & Carers+
All permanent exclusions must be considered by the Governing Board and parents have the right to make representations at this meeting. If the Governing Board refuses readmission of an excluded pupil, parents can request for this decision to be reviewed by an Independent Review Panel.
Parents can contact the following places for advice:
Child Law Advice (a registered charity) – ‘provide information about when a child can be excluded and the obligations of the school to review an exclusion and the right to appeal an exclusion’.
KIAS (Kirklees Information Advice and Support Service)
Tel: 0300 330 1504
SENACT (SEN Assessment and Commissioning Team)
Tel: 01484 456888
The National Autistic Society
The National Autistic Society produce detailed information for parents on their website.
Useful Documents and Information - 2020/21
- Exclusions Contact 2020
- Kirklees - Exclusion from a Maintained School (Parent/Carer Information)
- Kirklees - Exclusion from an Academy (Parent/Carer Information)
- The Key (Exclusion Process Flow Chart for Governors)
- Permanent Exclusion (Model letter to parents 2020)
- The Key (Model Exclusion Letters)
- Role of the GDC
- Model Letter (GDC Decision not to reinstate)
- FAP Preference Sheet
- Parent Guide to Fair Access 2020
- Exclusions News (The Guardian October 2020)