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Exclusions

Only the head teacher of an education setting can exclude a pupil. There are only two types of exclusion from a school which are lawful: permanent and fixed-period.

This means that legally a pupil is either in school full-time or they are excluded from school. They can be excluded for a fixed term (for a specific number of school days) or permanently excluded. Any exclusion of a pupil, even for a short period of time, must be formally and accurately recorded.

‘Informal’ or ‘unofficial’ exclusions, such as sending a pupil home to cool off or the school putting a pupil on a ‘part-time timetable’, are all unlawful regardless of whether they occur with the agreement of parents or carers. Unlawful exclusion of a pupil with a disability may amount to disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

If you do not have an EHC plan

If you believe that your child has been excluded as a result of their special educational needs not being met, there are a number of steps you can take.

  1. Ask for your child to be assessed for SEN
  2. If your child is already receiving SEN Support, ask for an urgent review of this support.
  3. Check the school’s SEN information report to see whether there is anything else which could help your child, which the school is able to provide.
  4. If you believe the school could be doing more, complain to Governors that their duties under section 66 of the Children and Families Act 2014 have not been fulfilled
  5. If you believe your child needs more support to meet their SEN than the school can provide, you may wish to request an EHC needs assessment.
  6. If your child has been permanently excluded, consider whether you want to use your right to have a SEN expert present at the independent review panel
  7. If your child has been excluded for more than 5 days, they are entitled to alternative education. You should ensure this education is provided.

If you do have an EHC plan

If you believe that your child has been excluded as a result of their special educational needs not being met, you may need to consider one or more of the following:

  1. Has the provision set out in Section F of the EHC plan been arranged? If not, you should make a complaint to the LA about their failure to implement the EHC plan.
  2. Is the provision in the EHC plan the right kind of provision, and/or is there an adequate amount of support? If not, write to the LA asking for an early Annual Review. At the Annual Review you can request that changes are made to add more support.
  3. If you feel that the EHC plan does not accurately reflect your child’s needs or the provision they require, and that new information is required in order to work this out, you may wish to ask for a re-assessment.
  4. If your child has been excluded for more than 5 days, they are entitled to alternative education. You should ensure this education is provided.

For further advice take a look at ACE Education.

RIASS can support you at any exclusion meetings.