North East Lincolnshire Council

School exclusions

Information for Governors

For information on school exclusions for governing bodies please go to our School exclusions – Governors page.

Information for parents and carers

Find out all you need to know about the school exclusion process in North East Lincolnshire as a parent or carer.

What are the types of exclusion?

  • Fixed period exclusion – A pupil may be excluded for a fixed period and will return to school once their exclusion has ended.  In exceptional cases, for example where further evidence has come to light, a fixed period exclusion may be extended or converted into a permanent exclusion.
  • Permanent exclusion – A pupil may be permanently excluded for a serious incident or a history of poor behaviour.  The pupil may only return to the excluding school if the governing body directs their reinstatement.
  • Lunchtime exclusion – Pupils whose behaviour is disruptive at lunchtime may be excluded from the school premises for the duration of the lunchtime period.  If the excluded pupil is entitled to receive a free school meal, the excluding school must still make arrangements for the pupil to receive this.

If a pupil is sent home for a reason related to their behaviour then the formal process laid out in the Department for Education statutory guidance on exclusion must follow. For this statutory guidance on the exclusion of pupils from local authority maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units visit Gov.uk – School exclusion guidance.

Only the head teacher, or the deputy when acting in the head teacher’s absence, can exclude a pupil.  Exclusion must be upon the grounds of the pupil’s behaviour.

Exclusion decisions must be made in accordance with wider legal duties for example in relation to disability and equality legislation.

For more information read the Gov.uk – Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years. This is statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities.

You can also visit Gov.uk – First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) for information about the handling of appeals against governing body decisions to uphold permanent exclusions.

Fixed period exclusions can be issued to a pupil up to a maximum of 45 days in an academic year.

Exclusions can be issued for behaviour outside as well as in school, in accordance with the school’s published behaviour policy, for example when travelling on the school bus.

Any exclusion even for a short period must be formally recorded in the school register and on the pupil’s school record.

The head teacher must notify parents / carer of the exclusion without delay and follow this up with a written notification which satisfies legal requirements.

When a fixed period exclusion is turned into a permanent exclusion, the head teacher must write to parents again to explain the reasons, providing any additional information.  The school must also set work for the pupil to complete at home during the first five days of the permanent exclusion, to be returned to school for marking.

The head teacher must provide parents’ with an explanation of the reasons for the exclusion, the inclusive dates of a fixed period exclusion, or for a permanent exclusion the fact that it is permanent.  Information should also be included in relation to the parents’/carer’s right to make representations about the exclusion to the governing body and how representations can be made.

In some circumstances, for example when a pupil has reached fifteen days or more in fixed period exclusions in one term, or been issued with a permanent exclusion, there is a legal requirement for governors’ to meet to consider the exclusion.  The notification letter will contain information about the parents’/carer’s right to attend the meeting and be accompanied by a friend or representative, the arrangements in place for the pupil’s on-going education and sources of impartial information/advice.

If your child has been permanently excluded, you will automatically be contacted by an officer from North East Lincolnshire Council who will explain the next steps and answer any questions you may have regarding the process.

More detailed information about notification letters can be found in Section 4.1 (page 8) of the Department for Education statutory guidance on exclusion.

From the sixth consecutive day of a fixed period exclusion there is a duty to arrange a full time educational provision for an excluded pupil and this responsibility rests with the head teacher and governing body of the excluding school.

In the case of a permanent exclusion the home authority, the authority where the pupil lives, is responsible for arranging an educational provision for the excluded pupil from the sixth day of the exclusion.

If your child attends a school or academy in North East Lincolnshire but your home address is outside the area, the authority where you live will be responsible for arranging day six provision following your child’s permanent exclusion.  You will still have the right to make representations about the exclusion to the board of governors’ at your child’s school.

The governing body must consider the reinstatement of an excluded pupil within 15 school days of receiving notice of the exclusion if the exclusion is permanent or is a fixed period exclusion which would bring the pupil’s total number of school days of exclusion to more than 15 in a term.

Where an exclusion would result in a pupil missing a public examination or national curriculum test there is a further requirement for a governing body, so far as is reasonably practicable, to consider the exclusion before the date of the examination or test.

In the case of a fixed period exclusion which does not bring the pupil’s total number of days of exclusion to more than five in a term, the governing body must consider any representations made by parents, but it cannot direct reinstatement and is not required to arrange a meeting with parents.

If requested to do so by parents, the governing body must consider the reinstatement of an excluded pupil within 50 school days of receiving notice of the exclusion if a pupil would be excluded from school for more than five school days, but not more than 15, in a single term.

When meeting to review a permanent exclusion, governors are required to invite the head teacher and parents’ of the excluded pupil.  The pupil may also attend the meeting but should already have been given an opportunity to give a statement outlining their side of the events.

The clerk to the governors’ will make the arrangements, writing to all parties at least five clear school days before the date of the meeting.  Were possible, documentary evidence should be included, together with a copy of the procedure for the meeting.

Pupil Discipline Committee meeting – Procedure for the hearing by the Governors

  1. Introductions by the Clerk.
  2. Presentation of case by Principal.
  3. Questions by all parties on matters of fact.
  4. Statement by the parent or representative.
  5. Questions by all parties on matters of fact.
  6. Statement by local authority representative (if applicable).
  7. Questions by all parties on matters of fact.
  8. Opportunity for the Principal to make a final statement.
  9. Opportunity for the parent to make a final statement.
  10. Withdrawal by the Principal, parent and/ other parties, if applicable.
  11. Consideration of the matter by the Governors in the presence of the Clerk. In the event that further information is needed from any of the persons who have left the meeting then all such persons should return to the meeting when such information is being obtained.  An opportunity should be given to each party to question or comment upon this additional information.

Following the meeting, the clerk is required to send written notification of the governors’ decision, explaining the reasons for the decision, to all parties.

Notifications advising that a permanent exclusion has been upheld must contain information about how parents’ can request an independent review of the governors’ decision.

If your child has been offered reinstatement, the head teacher will contact you regarding the arrangements for their return to school.

Following notification of a governing body decision to uphold a permanent exclusion, parents’ have fifteen school days from receipt of the notification letter in which to request an independent review of the decision.

Upon receipt of a request for review the academy trust, or in the case of a maintained school the local authority, will arrange a meeting of the independent review panel within fifteen school days.

The panel will comprise of a lay member (in the chair), a school governor and a head teacher.  Where possible the governor and head teacher members’ should reflect the phase and type of school that the excluded pupil attends.

The Independent Review Panel must appoint a Special Educational Needs (SEN) expert if requested by the parents’.  The role of the SEN expert is similar to that of an expert witness.  They provide impartial advice on how SEN might be relevant based upon the evidence presented.  The role does not include making an assessment of the pupil’s special educational needs.

In reviewing the decision, the panel must consider the interests and circumstances of the excluded pupil, including the circumstances in which the pupil was excluded and have regard to the interests of other pupils and staff working at the school.

The clerk to the Independent Review Panel will write to the parties to advise of the arrangements for the meeting and circulate relevant documents.

Following consideration of the case, the panel may uphold the decision of the governing body, recommend that the governing body reconsiders their decision; or quash the decision and direct the governing body to consider the exclusion again.

Where the panel recommends that the governing body reconsiders their decision, the governing body must reconvene to do so within 10 school days of being given notice of the panel’s decision.

If the decision is quashed and the governing body is required to consider the exclusion again, a new panel of governors’ with no prior involvement in the case will be convened.

In both circumstances, the governing body must notify the parties of their decision in writing.

Only after the legal process has concluded can the excluding school/academy remove a permanently excluded pupil’s name from the roll.

Head teachers’ may direct pupils’ to attend an off-site educational provision as part of a wider package of support to address poor behaviour. A managed move to enable the pupil to have a fresh start may also be offered subject to parents’ agreement and consent being obtained.

In either of the above circumstances, parents’ will be contacted direct by the school/academy when more specific information will be provided and discussed prior to any decision being taken.

The Behaviour and Attendance Collaborative (BAC) brings together schools and academies to work with and support each other to help children and young people who are experiencing difficulties fitting in to their school environment.

The BAC is a voluntary non-statutory group which involves all schools and academies in North East Lincolnshire. It aims to promote ‘sector-led’ improvement in relation to children and young people who are the responsibility of participating schools or academies. Referrals to the BAC process can only be made when the child or young person is registered at a school or academy in North East Lincolnshire.

BAC is separate to and different from the statutory responsibilities of the local authority for the placement of children onto a school roll.

Children’s Legal Centre – You may also find it useful to visit the Children’s Legal Centre website for further information on school exclusion at www.childlawadvice.org.uk

North East Lincolnshire Council Exclusions Officer – 01472 323606

Local Authority Special Educational Needs Assessment and Review Team – 01472 326291 option 2.

SENDIASS (formerly the Parent Partnership Service at Barnado’s) – Provide information, advice and support to disabled children and young people aged 0-25 and those with SEN, and their parents.  Telephone: 01472 355365

For further information on the BAC process please contact the Inclusion Officers at North East Lincolnshire Council on 01472 323098 or 01472 326936.

Current providers

Western Resource Primary Base (Western Primary)

My Space (Eastfield Primary Academy)

Wellspring Trust

For noting, if your child is excluded they must not be present in a public place during school hours without reasonable justification or you could receive a fixed penalty fine. Nor must your child enter the school/academy site during a period of exclusion.

Parents’ are asked to ensure that they attend reintegration meetings in school following a period of exclusion to discuss and support the arrangements in place to ensure their child’s smooth transition back into education.

Parents’ have the right to request a copy of their child’s school record. To do so please write to the head teacher via the school/academy address. There may be a charge for photocopying.

North East Lincolnshire Council Exclusions Officer – 01472 323606

SENDIASS (formerly the Parent Partnership Service at Barnado’s) – 01472 355365

Local Authority Special Educational Needs Assessment and Review Team – 01472 326291 option 2