What happens next?
In cases where there has been a Governors’ Discipline Committee meeting, the committee should put their views on the exclusion and the headteacher’s exclusion letter on your child’s record. If you wish, your views can be added. The Governors Discipline Committee will write to you telling you their decision.
Fixed Period Exclusions
A reintegration interview with parents during or following the end of any fixed period exclusion would be good practice but it is not a legal requirement. An agreed plan would be helpful to be put in place to prevent any further exclusions.
There are no rights of appeal for fixed-period exclusions. However, if you consider that your child has a disability and you feel that he/she has been discriminated against in this exclusion, you may make a claim under the Equality Act 2010 to the First Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), in the case of disability discrimination, or the County Court, in the case of other forms of discrimination (http://www.justice.gov.uk/tribunals/send). A claim of discrimination made under these routes should be lodged within six months of the date on which the discrimination is alleged to have taken place, e.g. the day on which the pupil was excluded.
If the decision is to reinstate you will need to ensure that you, your child, school staff and the appropriate agencies work together to ensure that your child’s return to school is successful.
If the governors agree with the permanent exclusion you will have 15 school days to decide whether you wish to request a review to an independent review panel. You will receive a letter from the Local Authority Inclusion Officer reminding you of this. If you decide to request a review you must write to the Inclusion Officer and include your reasons for requesting the review. The Clerk to the Independent Review Panel will then be in contact with you to advise you further.
You can only make representations to an Independent Review Panel if the exclusion is permanent.
Whether or not a school recognises that a pupil has special educational needs (SEN), all parents (or pupils if aged 18 or over) have the right to request the presence of a SEN expert at an independent review panel. The SEN expert’s role is to provide impartial advice to the panel about how SEN could be relevant to the exclusion; for example, whether the school acted reasonably in relation to its legal duties when excluding the pupil.
If you consider that your child has a disability and you feel that he/she has been discriminated against in this exclusion, please contact the Equality and human rights commission helpline for further information on 0845 604 6610.
You have 15 school days to write to the Local Authority office to request a review. You must put in writing your reasons for requesting the review. You will not be allowed the review if you miss the deadline. The hearing must be held no later than 15 school days after your letter is received. The role of the panel is to review the governing body’s decision not to reinstate your child. In reviewing the decision, the panel must consider the interests and circumstances of your child and the circumstances in which he/she was excluded, and consider the interests of other pupils and people working at the school.
You may still request a review, even if you do not wish your child to return to the school.
The Review panel is set up by Hampshire County Council’s Legal Services Department. The three panel members must be independent but will comprise one lay member who will act as Chair, one serving governor (or recently retired) of a maintained school and one serving headteacher (or retired in the last 5 years). They must not have had any connection with anyone which might reasonably be taken to raise doubts about their ability to act impartially. An independent review panel does not have the power to direct a governing body to reinstate an excluded pupil. However, it can come to the following conclusions:
- Uphold the exclusion decision and your child will remain permanently excluded (see paragraph 7 below).
- Recommend that a Governing Body reconsiders its decision – the Governors Discipline Committee will need to reconvene within 10 school days of being given notice to reconsider their decision.
- Quash the decision of the Governing Body where it considers that the decision was flawed in light of the principles applicable on an application for judicial review – the Governors Discipline Committee will need to reconvene within 10 school days of being given notice to reconsider their decision