What should I do if my child is excluded from the school?
Your daughter is excluded from her school for making what the school describes as insulting telephone calls to a teacher. You are displeased because you think her offence does not merit such an inconsiderate reprimand.
In cases of exclusion you cannot force the school to take your child back. But, yes, you can always make an appeal. Also, if you think, your daughter has been wrongly accused; you may wish to clear her name even though you do not want her to return to the school.
Appeal to the governors’ discipline committee, which in any case has to meet to consider the exclusion. The committee may uphold the exclusion, overthrow it and reinstate your daughter, or decide that the exclusion was unjustified, but that relationships between the school and the family have broken down to such an extend that it is no one’s interest for the child to stay at the school. The Local Education Authority (LEA) would then find another school for your child.
If the committee upholds the exclusion, you can appeal to an independent appeals panel, which is drawn from local people who are not connected with the school or its LEA. However, please note that if the independent appeal panel finds against you, no one, not even the Secretary of State, can overturn the panel’s decision.
Your plan of action
If you feel that exclusion is unfounded write to the governor saying that you want to appeal. The governors’ discipline committee will offer you a date for a hearing. To prepare for the hearing, note down the ways in which you think the official guidelines have not been followed, and good points about your daughter’s record at school.
If the committee refuses your appeal, you have 15 days to submit it to an independent appeals panel. The panel must hear the appeal within 15 days of receiving it. The panel’s decision is final and binding. If it confirms the exclusion, the Local Education Authority (LEA) has to find an alternative school place for your child, or provide education outside school. In exceptional cases, the panel may adjourn without a decision – for example, if the police are involved.
How does the exclusion process works?
Heads have the right to exclude pupils for a fixed period or permanently. In either case, the parents must be informed without delay of their child’s exclusion. Pupils who are excluded may not enter the school premises. Their behaviour during the exclusion is not the school’s accountability but if they are excluded for a fixed period, they should be set work to do.
- If a pupil is excluded for more than five days in a term, or if the exclusion would result in the pupil missing a public examination, the school must repeat the exclusion to the school governors and the local education authority, as well as the pupil’s parents. A pupil cannot be excluded from the school for more than forty-five days in a year unless the exclusion is permanent. Parents can appeal against fixed-period exclusion.
For more information on:
- Permanent Exclusion
- Allowing time for investigation
- Ensuring an appropriate response
- When exclusion is appropriate