This policy should be used in conjunction with the Improving behaviour and attendance: guidance on exclusion from schools and Pupil Referral Units Sept 2008, the School’s SEN, Behaviour, Equality, Drugs, and Behaviour for Learning policies.
In most cases permanent exclusion will be the last resort after a range of measures have been tried to improve the pupil’s behaviour. A range of strategies will address the types of behaviour which may lead to exclusion. Pupils identified as at risk of permanent or fixed period exclusion will be referred to alternative or additional provision to meet their individual needs, which could include using the Common Assessment Framework to engage the support of other agencies.
The School will ensure that staff training is in place that promotes good behaviour and prevents poor behaviour. These behaviour policies will be shared with pupils, all school staff and parents so that all are aware of the standards of behaviour expected of pupils and the range of sanctions that can be imposed. The Good Behaviour and Rewards policy will be implemented in a consistent, rigorous and non-discriminatory way and will be monitored routinely to satisfy legal requirements under race, disability and gender discrimination law.
Removing pupils from a school site other than for exclusion
These are the only sets of circumstances in which individual pupils may be required to leave the school site:
- There is sufficient evidence that a pupil has committed a disciplinary offence and
if allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school. In these circumstances the pupil may be excluded from school for a fixed period or permanently.
- A pupil is accused of a serious criminal offence but the offence took place outside the school’s jurisdiction. In these circumstances the Principal may decide that it is in the interests of the individual concerned and of the school community as a whole for that pupil to be educated off site for a certain period, subject to review at regular intervals. This is not an exclusion.
- For medical reasons, a pupil’s presence on the school site represents a serious risk to the health or safety of other pupils or school staff. In these circumstances a Principal may send the pupil home after consultation with the pupil’s parents. This is not an exclusion and may only be done for medical reasons.
- The pupil is given permission by the head teacher/teacher in charge, or person authorised by them, to leave the school premises briefly to remedy breaches of the school’s rules on appearance or uniform, where this can be done quickly and easily; this should be for no longer than is necessary to remedy the breach.
- This is not an exclusion but an authorised absence. However, if the pupil continues to breach uniform rules in such a way as to be sent home to avoid school, the pupil’s absence may be counted as unauthorised absence. In all such cases the parent must be notified and the absence should be recorded. When making this decision, the child’s age and vulnerability, and the parent’s availability, will need to be considered.
The decision to permanently exclude
A decision to exclude a pupil permanently will be taken only:
- in response to serious breaches of the school’s behaviour policy; and
- if allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school.
A decision to exclude a child permanently is a serious one and should only be taken where the basic facts have been clearly established on the balance of probabilities. It will usually be the final step in a process for dealing with disciplinary offences following a wide range of other strategies which have been tried without success. It is an acknowledgement by the school that it has exhausted all available strategies for dealing with the child and should normally be used as a last resort. Such circumstances would be, for example, persistent and defiant misbehaviour including bullying or repeated possession and/or use of an illegal drug on school
There will, however, be exceptional circumstances where, in the head teacher’s/ teacher in charge’s judgment, it is appropriate to permanently exclude a child for a first or ‘one off’ offence. These might include:
- Serious actual or threatened violence against another pupil or a member of staff;
- Sexual abuse or assault;
- Supplying an illegal drug; or
- Carrying an offensive weapon (for advice on what constitutes an offensive weapon, see School Security – Dealing with Troublemakers – Chapter 6 at www.dcsf. gov.uk/schoolsecurity/dwt6offensive_ weapons.shtml) Schools now have a power to screen and search pupils for weapons (please see guidance at : http:// www.teachernet.gov.uk/docbank/index.cfm?id=11454 )
Where the exclusion is related to drugs then the School Drug policy should be consulted.
The School will normally inform the police where a criminal offence is suspected to have taken place.
Pupil’s opportunity to participate in exclusion procedures
The child or young person should be invited and encouraged to state their case at all stages of the exclusion process, where appropriate, taking account of their age and understanding.
Factors to consider before making a decision to exclude
- Exclusion should not be imposed in the heat of the moment, unless there is an immediate threat to the safety of others in the school or the pupil concerned. Before deciding whether to exclude a pupil, either permanently or for a fixed period, the Principal/teacher in charge should:
- ensure that a thorough investigation has been carried out;
- consider all the evidence available to support the allegations, taking account of the school’s behaviour and equal opportunities policies, and, where applicable, the Race Relations Act 1976 as amended and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 as amended; head teachers others involved in exclusion procedures have a positive duty to promote equality
- Allow and encourage the pupil to give their version of events;
- Check whether the incident may have been provoked, for example by bullying, or by racial or sexual harassment;
- If necessary, consult others, but not anyone who may later have a role in reviewing the head teacher’s/teacher in charge’s decision, for example a member of the governing body; and
- Keep a written record of the actions taken (and copies of written records made by other members of staff), including any interview with the pupil concerned.
Witness statements must be dated and should be signed, wherever possible.
Procedures following permanent exclusion
In the case of a permanent exclusion the pupil remains on the roll of the school until any appeal is determined; until the time limit for the parents to lodge an appeal has expired without an appeal being brought; or the parent has informed the school or LA in writing that no appeal is to be brought.
The decision to fixed-term exclude
The decision to exclude a pupil for a fixed period will be taken, on a balance of probabilities, only in response to breaches of the school’s behaviour policy, including persistent disruptive behaviour, where these are not serious enough to warrant permanent exclusion and lesser sanctions such as detention are considered inappropriate.
Individual fixed period exclusions will be for the shortest time necessary, bearing in mind that exclusions of more than a day or two make it more difficult for the pupil to reintegrate into the school afterwards. Ofsted inspection evidence suggests that 1–3 days are often long enough to secure the benefits of exclusion without adverse educational consequences.
Where it is clear that fixed period exclusions are not being effective in deterring poor behaviour, for example if they are being repeatedly imposed on a pupil in response to the same behaviour, head teachers/teachers in charge should consider alternative strategies for addressing that behaviour (See Appendix 1)
Only the Principal, or, in the absence of the head teacher, the acting head teacher can exclude a pupil. Other exclusion-related activities do not have to be undertaken by the head teacher personally, but may be delegated.
In every instance where a pupil is sent home for disciplinary reasons, the principal will formally record and specify the length of the exclusion (for reporting purposes this should be recorded as a half day, whole day or lunchtime). They will ensure that:
- that parents are formally notified of the exclusion;
- child protection issues are taken into account e.g. bearing in mind the child’s age and vulnerability, that a parent/carer is at home and the child is not placed at risk by, for example, being left to wander the streets;
- that work is sent home or alternative provision is arranged; and
- the appropriate person at the local authority is informed
Length of fixed period exclusions
A pupil can be excluded for one or more fixed periods which, when aggregated, do not exceed a total of 45 school days in any one school year. The limit of 45 school days applies to the pupil and not to the institution. Therefore, any days of fixed period exclusion served by the pupil in any school or PRU in the same school year will count towards the total. When a pupil transfers to the School during the academic year, records of the fixed period exclusions a pupil has received and served so far during the current academic year will also be transferred.
Pupils whose behaviour at lunchtime is disruptive may be excluded from the school
premises for the duration of the lunchtime period. Lunchtime exclusions are counted as one half of a school day for statistical purposes. Lunchtime exclusions are not counted towards the school’s duty to provide fulltime education from day six of a fixed period exclusion. Taking into account the child’s age and vulnerability, the principal/teacher in charge should ensure that a parent/carer has been contacted and is available, if appropriate, to arrange collection and supervision of the pupil during the lunchtime exclusion. All lunchtime exclusions must be for a fixed period no longer than one week.
Procedures following a fixed period exclusion
The school’s obligation to provide education continues and will be met during a fixed period exclusion. Parents are not responsible for making educational provision for their excluded child, but are expected to cooperate with schools in this regard. Where a pupil is given a fixed period exclusion of six school days or longer, the school will arrange suitable full-time educational provision from and including the sixth school day of the exclusion. During this period the School will set work for the pupil to complete and arrange for it to be marked.
If the exclusion is for six days or more the school will:
- Make suitable full-time provision available to the pupil from the sixth school day. Provision will normally be off-site.
- Ensure that work is set for the pupil to complete during the first five school days of exclusion and that it is marked.
- Ensure that the parent is fully informed of their duties in the first five days and of the school days on which the pupil will be provided with suitable full-time education and must attend that provision and of any sanctions that may be imposed for non-attendance (please see model letters 1-3);
- Discuss how the time might be used to address the pupil’s problems; and
- Support the pupil’s reintegration into the school at the end of the exclusion. This will include arrangements for a reintegration interview with a parent of the pupil.
Within one school day the principal must inform the governing body and the LA of:
- Permanent exclusions;
- Exclusions which would result in the pupil being excluded for more than five school days (or more than 10 lunchtimes) in any one term; and
- Exclusions which would result in the pupil missing a public examination.
The principal will arrange a reintegration interview with parents during or following the expiry of any fixed period exclusion of six or more school days. An interview is not necessary where the pupil is leaving school within the period of the exclusion for a reason unconnected with his or her behaviour or where the first day of exclusion falls within the last ten school days in the school year. The pupil should normally attend all or part of the interview. The interview should be conducted by the principal/teacher in charge or a senior member of staff. In some circumstances it may be helpful for another person to be present such as the designated teacher or governor for Looked After Children or children with SEN.
It provides an opportunity to:
- Emphasise the importance of parents working with the school to take joint responsibility for their child’s behaviour;
- Discuss how behaviour problems can be addressed;
- Explore wider issues and any circumstances that may be affecting the child’s behaviour;
- Reach agreement on how the child’s education should continue, how best they can be reintegrated and what measures could be put in place to prevent further misbehaviour; and
- Create a useful forum to consider with parents the possibility of a parenting contract
The interview must be held during the period beginning with the first school day to which the exclusion relates and ending with the fifteenth school day following the day on which the pupil returns to school. The principal must try to arrange the interview for a date and time that is convenient to the parent. If possible the interview should be held on the day the pupil returns to school. The interview date suggested by the principal/teacher in charge should be a school day, but the interview can be held on a non-school day if the head teacher/teacher in charge and parent agree. At least one of the child’s parents is expected to attend the meeting. A parent’s failure to attend will be one factor taken into account by a magistrates’ court when deciding whether to impose a parenting order, if at any future date a parenting order has been applied for by the school or local authority. Schools must keep records of the failure to attend a reintegration interview, and of any explanation given by the parent for failure to attend, as the court may need to see them. However, a fixed period exclusion must not be extended if such an interview cannot be arranged in time or the parents do not attend. The interview must be conducted on school premises. The notice must be given no later than six school days before the date of the reintegration interview.
Penalty notice for excluded pupils
During the initial period of up to five school days of any exclusion, whether fixed period or permanent, the parents of the excluded pupil must ensure that he or she is not present in a public place during normal school hours without reasonable justification whether or not the pupil is in the company of the parent. A failure to comply with this requirement is an offence. Parents can be given a fixed penalty notice of £50 if they fail to do this.
Schools can only issue a penalty notice if their Local Authority have put in place a scheme for administrating this and published a local code of conduct.
Parenting contracts and orders
If the school considers that parental influence could be better brought to bear in improving the behaviour of the pupil, a parenting contract may be offered. It may help parents take responsibility for their children and strengthen their ability to do so.
This can engender a productive relationship with parents and provide individualised support. It provides an early intervention to deal with emerging behaviour problems or after an exclusion of any duration. A parenting contract is a written voluntary agreement between the school governing body and the parent under which the parent agrees to comply with certain requirements and the school agrees to provide, or help the parent access, the support that they need.
Parenting contracts are appropriate where the parent is willing to engage with the school but is in need of (and will accept) support in order to help improve their child’s behaviour. A school cannot require a parent to sign a parenting contract as a condition of his or her child being reinstated, being admitted to a school or not being excluded from it.
If the parent refuses or fails to engage with the school or local authority in attempting to improve his or her child’s behaviour and the requisite standard of misbehaviour is met, the school may consider applying to the magistrates’ court for a parenting order to compel the parent to comply with certain requirements including attendance at parenting classes. The kind of misbehaviour that can trigger a parenting order is behaviour that has or could have resulted in exclusion.
If a parent does not comply with an exclusion, for example by sending the excluded child to school, or by refusing to collect, or arrange collection of, him or her,
including at lunchtime, the school must have due regard for the pupil’s safety in deciding what action to take. An exclusion should not be enforced if doing so may put the safety of the pupil at risk. If efforts to resolve the issue with the parents are unsuccessful the school should consider whether to perform a Common Assessment Framework.
Procedures for review and appeal
The principal/teacher in charge must notify the governing body of permanent exclusions, fixed term exclusions of more than 5 days, or 10 lunchtimes, and those where a pupil would miss a public examination.
Where the governing body is notified of an exclusion, they must (whether or not the parent requests) review any exclusion which is a permanent exclusion from their school, or a fixed period exclusions that would result in a pupil being excluded for more than 15 school days in any one term, or missing a public examination.
Behaviour outside school
The school‘s behaviour policy regulates pupils’ behaviour where the pupils are neither on school premises nor in the charge of school/PRU staff, where it is reasonable to do so. The school’s behaviour policy provides for the circumstances of poor behaviour outside school – for example, on school trips, away school sports fixtures, or work experience placements – are be subject to the school’s behaviour policy. Poor behaviour in such circumstances will be dealt with as if it had taken place in school.
For behaviour outside school, but not on school business, the principal/ teacher in charge may exclude a pupil if there is a clear link between that behaviour and maintaining good behaviour and discipline among the pupil body as a whole.
This will be a matter of judgment for the principal/teacher in charge.
Pupils’ behaviour in the immediate vicinity of the school, or on a journey to or from school, can be grounds for exclusion.
Pupils with special educational needs (SEN)
Other than in the most exceptional circumstances, the school will avoid permanently excluding pupils with statements. We will also make every effort to avoid excluding pupils who are being supported at School Action or School Action Plus under the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice, including those at School Action Plus who are being assessed for a statement. For a pupil with a statement, the school will liaise with their LA about initiating an interim review of the pupil’s statement.
Where a child is permanently excluded, the principal will use the period between his or her initial decision and the meeting of the governing body to work with the LA to see whether more support can be made available or whether the statement can be changed to name a new school. If either of these options is possible, the exclusion will be withdrawn.
It is unlawful to exclude a disabled pupil for a reason related to their disability without justification. When considering whether or not it is appropriate to exclude a pupil who may be disabled within the meaning of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and Equality Act 2010, the principal will consider:
- Is the pupil disabled? The Act covers pupils whose physical or mental impairment has a long term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
- Is the exclusion for a reason related to the pupil’s disability? If there is a connection between the pupil’s disability and the behaviour resulting in the exclusion, this may be considered less favourable treatment for a reason related to the pupil’s disability.
- Would another pupil, to whom the reason did not apply, be excluded? Following the decision of the House of Lords in London Borough of Lewisham v. Malcolm (25 June 2008), a comparison has to be made between the disabled child who has been excluded for a reason allegedly relating to their disability and a child who is not disabled but has behaved in the same way. In other words, if the reason for the exclusion is the pupil’s disability-related behaviour, then it is necessary to consider whether or not another pupil without that disability who behaved in that way would be excluded. The comparison should be with a pupil who is not disabled and who has behaved in the same way.
- Can the exclusion be justified? An exclusion of a disabled pupil for a reason related to their disability can only be justified if there is a ‘material’ and ‘substantial’ reason for it. Maintaining order and discipline in the school may be a material and substantial reason. However, it may not be possible to justify the less favourable treatment if there are reasonable adjustments that should have been made but were not. Reasonable adjustments could include developing strategies to prevent or manage the pupil’s behaviour; drawing on external advice on effective approaches with a pupil and staff training. If reasonable steps could have been taken but were not, it may not be possible to justify the pupil’s exclusion. If reasonable steps were taken, but the incident still happened, then the school is likely to be able to justify the exclusion.
The school will take steps to ensure that they will not discriminate against pupils on racial grounds when making a decision about whether to exclude a pupil. Exclusions will be monitored and analysed by ethnicity to ensure that they do not treat
some groups of pupils more harshly than others. Policies that lead to sanctions will also be monitored to ensure they do not have disproportionately adverse impact on pupils from particular racial groups. If this is found to be the case then policy and practice will be modified.
Looked After Children
Exclusion of looked after children will be an absolute last resort. The School will work in partnership with social workers and other professionals and try every practicable means to maintain them in school. No looked after child will be excluded from the school without discussion with the local authority.
Procedure for Excluding a Pupil
The parents’ role:
All exclusions cases must be treated in the strictest confidence.
If a fixed term exclusion, after investigation, becomes a permanent exclusion parents must be informed fully in writing.
- Where the pupil is excluded at the end of the afternoon session and the exclusion takes effect from the next school day, notice must be given before the start of that day;
- Where the pupil is excluded in the morning session and the exclusion takes effect from that afternoon, notice must be given before the start of the afternoon session;
- Where the pupil is excluded in the afternoon session and the exclusion takes effect that afternoon, the notice must be given by the end of the afternoon session.
Informing the governing body and LA about the exclusion
An exclusion report should be sent to the Local Authority, the local governing body and copied to the Board of Chapel Street Community Schools Trust. Reports should include the following:
- The pupil’s name;
- The length of the exclusion;
- The reason for the exclusion;
- The pupil’s age, gender and ethnicity;
- Whether the pupil has a statement of SEN, is being assessed for such a statement, or is on School Action or School Action Plus;
- Whether the pupil is looked after as defined in section 22 of the Children Act 1989; and
- For fixed period exclusions of pupils of, compulsory school age, where the exclusion is for more than five school days, what alternative provision has been put in place for the pupil.
Marking attendance registers following exclusion
Where pupils are excluded up to 6 days code E should be used. Where suitable alternative provision is used code B should be used.
For permanently excluded pupils they must not be deleted from the register until the appeals process has been completed.
Responsibility of the LA
The LA should send a representative to all permanent exclusion meetings and to longer fixed period exclusion meetings if possible. The LA’s role at the governing body meeting is not to give its view on the merits of the particular exclusion. But it can make a statement to the governing body/management committee in general terms, for example about how other schools in the area (and the LA itself, if applicable) have dealt with similar incidents. The LA representative should also draw the attention of governors/committee members to issues where there is a lack of clarity or where more information may be needed or where guidance appears to have been ignored. The principal should attend the meeting to clarify points and answer any questions relating to the incident or events leading to the exclusion. No party to the review should be alone with the governors at any point before, during or
after the meeting.
Responsibilities of the governing body
The governing body must review certain exclusions:
- permanent exclusions;
- exclusions which would result in the pupil being excluded for more than five school days (or more than 10 lunchtimes) in any one term; and
- exclusions which would result in the pupil missing a public examination
All or some of the functions can be delegated to a Discipline committee made up of at least three impartial members of the governing body. It will appoint a clerk to the committee. Chapel St will provide training for these roles. If the exclusion involves missing public examinations then it should meet before that examination. If this is not possible the Chair of Local Academy Board alone can consider the decision and make the decision to reinstate. In some cases the excluded pupil may be allowed on the premises to take public examinations but this is not a right.
Parents can make oral representation to the committee or Chair of governors at this meeting.
The pupil should be encouraged to attend the meeting and speak on their own behalf.
No party to the review should be alone with the governors at any point before, during or after the meeting.
The governing body should decide whether to direct reinstatement. In reaching its
decision the committee should consider:
- any representations made by the parent, the pupil and the LA;
- whether on a balance of probabilities the pupil did what he or she is alleged to have done; and
- whether the head teacher/teacher in charge has complied with the law on exclusion and has had regard to this guidance on exclusion.
In considering whether to direct reinstatement, the governing body/ management committee should seek the LA’s views as to what support could be made available to assist with reintegrating the pupil.
There are only two decisions open to the governing body/management committee – to uphold the exclusion or to direct the pupil’s reinstatement, either immediately or by a particular date.
- The decision is made to exclude, the principal immediately informs the parents, ideally by telephone, and follows this up in writing (see model letter 4)
- The principal informs the governing body and LA (for a pupil who lives outside the LA then the home LA also must be informed)
- The governors convene a Discipline Committee, and appoint a clerk, which will meet before the fifteenth day after receiving the note.
- The parents are invited to make oral representations and the pupil to speak on their own behalf. The principal is invited to the meeting. The LA is invited to send a representative. Witness statements and other paperwork is collated and distributed to the governors by the clerk.
- The paperwork to be used in the meeting must be circulated at least 5 days in advance along with a list of those to be present at the meeting.
- The Discipline committee reviews the paperwork, listens to representations from the parent, pupil and principal. The LA representative makes their comments. Everyone except the Discipline Committee and clerk are asked to leave and the governors make their decision to reinstate or not.
- The governing body must inform the parent (see model letter 5), the principal and the LA of its decision in writing within one school day of the hearing, stating the reasons. A copy of the letter is placed on the pupil’s file
Independent Appeals Panel
The School will follow the guidelines in the DfE guidelines Improving behaviour and attendance: guidance on exclusion from schools and Pupil Referral Units, September 2008.
It will use Clerks Associates to conduct the appeal.