Schools are entitled to impose fixed period exclusions. This is where the headteacher, in line with the statutory procedures, sends a pupil home from their school following a serious breach of the school's Behaviour or Discipline policies. The school can give you these documents.
For pupils who display challenging behaviour, schools can refer to their Multi-Professional Support Team for advice.
If your child is at risk of permanent exclusion there should be a Pastoral Support Plan (PSP) in place which you should have been involved with from the time it is drawn up. A PSP will identify your child's needs, state the agreed strategies to be used by the school, yourselves and any other agency involved in addressing your child's needs and possible sanctions to be applied. If you do not know if there is a PSP in place and the school has referred to the possibility of permanent exclusion, we advise you to contact the school to clarify the situation.
If you feel that your child's behaviour is linked to a learning difficulty or difficulty accessing the curriculum, the school may consider referring your child to the Learning Support Team. You should be aware of any strategies the school have put into place to support your child in school, contacting the school if unclear.
Your child may have been involved with one of these services already. If your child is displaying challenging behaviour it may be wise to become involved with these services.
If you are having difficulty with your child's behaviour at home you could consider contacting your GP to see whether a referral to the Child and Family Therapy Service may be appropriate. You could also consider consulting Social Services or the Educational Social Worker for the school. Permanent exclusion from school should be used as a last resort or for a serious incident. It is important for you to work with the school to resolve the issues that have been raised.
You can also be referred to the Somerset Parent Partnership for help in resolving any disagreements between the school and the parents.
You will be responsible for arranging transport to and from school from your child. If you do not wish your child to move from a school you should attempt further discussions with the school.
Pupils cannot be removed from the school roll unless they have been permanently excluded or you the parent has removed your child and provided written confirmation. It is unwise to remove your child from one school before another school placement has been secured. If you require further support you should refer your case to an Educational Social Worker.
Unless the pupil has been formally excluded you have the right to send your child to school. The exclusion must be confirmed in writing by the school in question. If you have not received a letter then you should refer back to the school for confirmation.
There may be exceptional circumstances in which headteachers need to remove pupils from a school site when exclusion would be illegal. A headteacher can authorise leave of absence for a fixed period, with the parents agreement, or, by exercising powers delegated by the governing body under Section 29 (3) of the Education Act 2002 can arrange for the pupil to be educated elsewhere (without parental consent if deemed necessary, although the parent should be notified).
However, such education elsewhere must be arranged for the purposes of receiving any instruction or training included in the secular curriculum of the school. Whether the pupil has been granted leave of absence or is being educated elsewhere, the school must ensure that the pupil's full time education continues while they are off site. Any such arrangements do not amount to a formal exclusion from school and should be kept under periodic review.