If your child is at risk of exclusion or has been excluded, it can be a challenging and stressful situation. This article answers some of the most common questions about exclusions that we get asked here at Setfords.
What types of exclusion are there?
There are only two types of lawful exclusions. These are fixed-period exclusions and permanent exclusions. Anything else, for example, sending a pupil home to ‘cool off,’ is not lawful.
I disagree with the school’s decision to exclude my child permanently. What can I do?
If the school decides to exclude your child permanently, the governing body will review the decision in the first instance. They will decide whether or not to reinstate your child. You can make written representations to the governing body in advance, including submitting evidence supporting your arguments. Furthermore, you can attend the meeting.
If the governing body decides to uphold the decision to exclude permanently, you can seek a review of this decision from the Independent Review Panel (IRP). You can make written representations to the IRP, submit evidence, and attend the meeting. The IRP can decide to uphold the governing body’s decision, quash the decision and direct the governing body to consider reinstatement, or recommend to the governing body that it reconsider reinstatement. The IRP cannot direct reinstatement. (Please note that this process does not apply to independent schools).
If you believe that the decision involved some form of discrimination, you can also consider a separate discrimination claim.
I’ve been offered a managed move, do I have to take it?
No, you don’t have to agree to a managed move. A managed move can be an alternative to exclusion, but it requires agreement from parents. The threat of permanent exclusion cannot be used to influence the decision.
I believe the decision to exclude my child was discriminatory. Can I make a claim?
If you consider that the decision to exclude your child was discriminatory, you can look to bring a claim for a breach of the Equality Act 2010. A claim for disability discrimination against a school is brought in the First-Tier Tribunal. All other claims are brought in the County Court.
You must bring a claim for a breach of the Equality Act 2010 within six months. A range of remedies are available where a breach of the Equality Act 2010 is established, including reinstatement, but the Tribunal does not have the power to order financial compensation.