1. What does exclusion mean?
An exclusion means that a pupil is not allowed to attend school or go on to school premises for a period of time or permanently. However, Hampshire Local Authority and schools work with parents, pupils and a wide range of other agencies to help prevent exclusions. Headteachers may use exclusion as a way of managing the behaviour of pupils. It is also used as a way of giving clear messages to the pupil involved and the whole school community, that certain kinds of behaviour are unacceptable.
This can be a very upsetting, difficult and worrying time for you and your child. This guidance explains:
- what you can do if you want to talk to the school about the exclusion;
- what you can do if you disagree with the exclusion;
- what you can do to prevent further exclusions; and
- where you can go for further advice and support.
There are two types of exclusion from school:
(1) A fixed period exclusion:
- will be for a fixed number of school days – headteachers must not exclude for an indefinite number of days. An individual fixed period exclusion should be for the shortest time necessary, bearing in mind that exclusions of more than a day or two make it more difficult for the pupil to reintegrate back into the school afterwards;
- must not exceed 45 school days in an academic year either as a single exclusion or a number of shorter exclusions added together;
- may be for lunchtimes but should not be for a long period - other ways of dealing with the problem should be worked out. If your child has free meals, the school must make other arrangements such as a packed lunch;
- in exceptional cases may be extended or made permanent. If this happens, the headteacher must write to you again giving the reasons for the change.
(2) A permanent exclusion:
- means the headteacher believes that the school can no longer meet the needs of your child. The Headteacher believes that your child should not be allowed back at the school.
- the headteacher’s decision is reviewed, at a meeting, by a panel of governors. You and your child have the opportunity to have your say at the meeting and you may be represented by someone who can speak on your behalf or you can be supported by a friend if you wish. If the governors agree with the headteacher’s decision to permanently exclude your child, you have a legal right to review with an Independent Review.