Issues relating to children- Exclusion from School
Exclusion from School
Exclusion can be used as a disciplinary sanction by schools if a child does something that is against the school’s behaviour policy. It means that a child must stay away from school. “Section 52 of the Education Act 2002 enables head teachers of maintained schools and teachers in charge of pupil referral units to exclude pupils for a fixed period or permanently. Head teacher may not exclude a pupil for longer than 45 days in one academic year.
There are two types of exclusion
If your child has fixed term exclusion you must receive a letter from the school informing you the reasons for the exclusion and its length. For the first five days you are responsible for your child and must make sure they are not in a public place during school hours. The school should set and mark work during this time. If the fixed term exclusion is longer than 5 days, your child’s school must arrange full-time alternative education from day 6.
Challenging the exclusion
If you are not happy with the fact of your child’s exclusion or the way that the school has dealt with it, you can put your views to the governors of the school. You can do this in writing. You may also ask for a meeting with the governors. More details of timescales for meetings are in the ACE booklet ‘Fixed period exclusion’. The governors will review the exclusion and decide whether the exclusion was justified. They will put a note of their findings on your child’s school record. For longer-term exclusions where your child has not already returned to school, the governors have the power to reinstate your child.
Permanent exclusion should normally only be used by schools as a last resort. Generally this is after the school has tried a lot of different ways of trying to deal with a child’s behaviour. In some serious cases such as violence, drugs or weapons children may be permanently excluded for a ‘one-off’ offence.
What will happen?
You must receive a letter from the school telling you the reasons for the exclusion. For the first five days you are responsible for your child and must make sure they are not in a public place during school hours. The school should set and mark work during this time. From the sixth day the local authority where you live must provide full-time alternative education for your child. This is likely to be in a pupil referral unit. Your LA should also be assessing your child and drawing up a longer-term reintegration plan for a new school or other placement.
Challenging the exclusion
The governors of the school will have to meet to review the exclusion. You will be invited to that meeting and you and your child can put your views. The governors can decide either to uphold the exclusion or to reinstate your child. If they uphold the exclusion you have a further right of appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel.