Your child may be excluded from school by the Headteacher for a number of reasons and for anything from half a day to permanently. There are two types of exclusion.
Fixed period exclusion
This means that a pupil is not allowed in school for a specified number of days because they have breached the school's behaviour policy.
This means that the Head has decided that a pupil should not continue at the school because of a serious breach or persistent breaches of the school's behaviour policy and allowing the pupil to remain in school would harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school.
You can request a copy of the school's behaviour policy setting out the circumstances in which a pupil may be excluded. School Governors consider exclusions, but meet within fifteen school days of being notified of the exclusion -
- when the exclusion is for more than 15 days
- if the pupil has exclusions adding up to more than 15 days in one term
- if it would result in your child missing a public examination or national curriculum test
- if the exclusion is permanent
The Governors will decide whether to uphold the Headteacher's decision. Parents and the pupil, where appropriate, can attend and speak at the meeting, or submit a written statement.
If your child is excluded
The Head Teacher writes to you and lets you know -
- why, and the steps taken to try to avoid exclusion
- the type and length of the exclusion
- arrangements to enable your child to continue his or her education
- your rights to put your case to the governing body, who you should contact and the date by which a written statement must be made to the governing body
- your right to see your child's school record
- the name and telephone number of the contact at the local authority who can provide advice on the exclusion process.
If the exclusion is permanent
The Local Authority arranges for alternative full time provision to be put in place from the sixth day, with an alternative education provider or pupil referral unit. The school also provides work for your child for the first five days.
If the Governors uphold the Head Teacher's decision to permanently exclude your child, you have the right to request a review by an independent review panel. A review panel does not have the power to instruct a governing body to reinstate an excluded pupil. However, it can direct a governing board to reconsider its decision if the they feel that the board’s decision is flawed.
The Education Advisory Service have information and parental guides available that you may find useful. Access their website for more information
If you think disability discrimination has occurred, you can appeal or make a claim to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal at Mowden Hall, Staindrop Road, Darlington DL3 9DN.