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.
Pupils cannot be removed from the school roll unless they have been permanently excluded or you have 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 need more 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 they 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.
You are responsible for arranging transport to and from school for your child. If you do not wish your child to move from a school you should attempt further discussions with the school.
If your child is excluded, you will be contacted by an Access Casework Officer (ACO) who will explain the permanent exclusion process, what happens next, the right to appeal and can answer any questions you have.
The permanent exclusion letter sent by schools says you will be contacted by the ACO, however there can sometimes be a delay between parents being informed of the permanent exclusion by phone and receiving the letter.
Pastoral Support Plan
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, you 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.
Learning Support Team
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 has put in place to support your child in school, and you should contact the school if this is not clear.
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.
Child and Family Therapy Service
If you are having difficulty with your child’s behaviour at home you could consider contacting your doctor 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.
Somerset Parent Partnership
You can also be referred to the Somerset Parent Partnership for help in resolving any disagreements between you and the school. You can find out more on this website.