Fixed Period Suspensions and Permanent Exclusions: letter templates, forms and guidance

Fixed Period Suspensions and Permanent Exclusions: letter templates, forms and guidance

The Exclusion Team offer support and advice to Schools and Parents on School Suspensions and Permanent Exclusions and alternatives to these.

For advice and guidance on all pupil exclusion and suspension matters please contact the Exclusions Team at the email address or telephone numbers below:

Paul Jennings          Exclusions Officer               01274 432446

Samantha Griffiths   Exclusions Officer              01274 435239

Karen Roper            Senior Exclusions Officer   01274 439333

email: exclusionsteam@bradford.gov.uk


Statutory Exclusions Guidance

The latest guidance on exclusions (2022) may be downloaded HERE. This comes into force from 1st September 2022


Support through the suspension and exclusion process

To ensure that a child receives the correct support and protection during a suspension or permanent exclusion, it is important that those responsible for their care are promptly informed when exclusions occur or there is a risk of them occurring. As well as communicating with the child where relevant throughout the exclusion process.

Exclusion and suspensions procedures should be followed in all cases - click here for the table. 

A helpful summary of the governing board's duties to review the head teacher's exclusion decision can be found here.

Parents and head teachers can also seek advice from:  

If your child has special educational needs or disability (SEND) you may wish to seek advice from:

 

When headteachers suspend or permanently exclude a pupil they must, without delay, notify parents, social worker, or if a pupil is looked-after, the headteacher must now, also without delay after their decision, notify the social worker and/or VSH, as applicable.

Although this must not delay notification, notification should be in person or by telephone in the first instance as this would allow parents to ask any initial questions or raise concerns directly with the headteacher. Headteachers must also, without delay, after their decision, provide parents with the following information in writing:

• the reason(s) for the suspension or permanent exclusion;

• the period of a suspension or, for a permanent exclusion, the fact that it is permanent;

• parents’ right to make representations about the suspension or permanent exclusion to the governing board (in line with the requirements set out in paragraphs 95 to 105) and how the pupil may be involved in this;

• how any representations should be made; and

• where there is a legal requirement for the governing board to consider the suspension or permanent exclusion, that parents or a pupil if they are 18 years old have a right to attend a meeting, to be represented at that meeting (at their own expense) and to bring a friend.

Written notification of the information above (paragraph 63) can be provided by delivering it directly to the parents, leaving it at their usual or last known home address, or posting it to that address. Notices can be given electronically if the parents have given written agreement for this kind of notice to be sent in this way

The templates and guidance below are to help the process and considerations involved in suspensions or exclusions but is not intended as a replacement to individual duties connected to the statutory exclusion and suspension guidance or related legislation. 

Permanent Exclusions 

A permanent exclusion is when a pupil is no longer allowed to attend a school (unless the pupil is reinstated). The decision to exclude a pupil permanently should be a last resort and only be taken in response to a serious breach or persistent breaches of the school's behaviour policy and where allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others such as staff or pupils in the school.

Informing parties about an exclusion

For notifications of exclusion to parents under paragraph 62, although this must not delay notification, notification should be in person or by telephone in the first instance as this would allow parents to ask any initial questions or raise concerns directly with the headteacher. The written notification, sent without delay following this decision must include information in paragraph 63, to which model letters can be found on this page. 

Permanent Exclusion Leaflet for parents. Please include with the permanent exclusion letter to the parent/carer see Model Letter 4 below.

The headteacher must, without delay, notify their governing board of the permanent exclusion, including where a suspension is followed by a decision to permanently exclude the pupil.

Please inform the Exclusions Team as set out below. If the pupil does not live in Bradford - Please inform the Exclusions Team as below and the pupils' 'home authority' as it is the Home Authorities duty to make arrangements for education from day 6. The list for exclusion officer contacts in those LA's bordering Bradford can be accessed here.

Whenever a headteacher permanently excludes a pupil they must, without delay after their decision, also notify the social worker if a pupil has one, and the Virtual School Headteacher if the pupil is a LAC, of the period of the suspension or permanent exclusion and the reason(s) for it. The information in paragraphs 65 to 68 must be provided in writing to the local authority. To discharge this duty, send a copy of parent/carer letter to the Social Worker and/or Virtual School Headteacher (VSH).

In all cases we would expect that the VSH has been linked with prior to any notification of an exclusion for a child in care. For a child who is looked after please email a copy of the suspension or exclusion notification letter school sends to the Parent/Carer and social worker to the headteacher of the virtual school via the virtualschoolenquiries@bradford.gov.uk inbox using the subject heading ‘exclusion’, without delay. Please also use this inbox for further correspondence, such as the invite to any Governor meeting and a copy of the decision letter on the matter of the reinstatement consideration. 

Model Permanent exclusion letter Model letter 4 - Permanent exclusion letter to parent(s)/carers and copied where applicable to any Social Worker and/or to the Virtual School where a pupil is looked after (see section above). 
Notification Forms to the LA  and the pupils 'Home Authority' where applicable

Schools must use the forms below to notify the local authority, without delay, of a permanent exclusion for a pupil and send to the exclusionsteam@bradford.gov.uk by secure Galexkey email. EX1 and EX3 (including associated documents set out in the EX3) including a copy of the letter sent to the pupil's parent(s)/carers. 

If the pupil lives outside Bradford please let the Bradford Exclusions Team know of the exclusion as above and the Pupils' 'home authority. The list is above for those LA's neighbouring Bradford.

Support proformas

Checklist for Head teachers and Governors to support decision making around exclusion from school

Pupil Witness statements pro-forma

Guidance to the headteacher on informing the governing board about an exclusion

(Page 31)

The headteacher should have asked the Chair of the Governing Board whether there are clear processes in place for considering suspensions and permanent exclusions and ensure a process is in place for a governing board when considering reinstatement where this is required. 

The headteacher should ensure that they have informed the governing board about reinstatement and specify the correct timescale. They should also make clear to the governing board whether the need to consider reinstatement is dependent on receiving parental representations.

Cancelling Exclusions

(Page 13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The headteacher may cancel an exclusion that has already begun, but this should only be done where it has not yet been reviewed by the governing board.

Where an exclusion is cancelled, then:

• Parents, the governing board, and the LA should be notified without delay and, if relevant, the social worker and VSH;

• Parents should be offered the opportunity to meet with the headteacher to discuss the circumstances that led to the exclusion being cancelled;

• Schools should report to the governing board once per term on the number of exclusions which have been cancelled. This should include the circumstances and reasons for the cancellation enabling governing boards to have appropriate oversight and;

• The pupil should be allowed back into school.

In these cases, schools are required to send a copy of the withdrawn letter to parent and to the Exclusions Team and they MUST ensure their Information Management Team is made aware of this to ensure their system is updated with the cancelled exclusion decision. 

Where there has been a permanent exclusion decision withdrawn and the criteria in A summary of the governor's boards duty to review the head teachers' decision to exclude (page 38 & 39) - are met then a governor meeting MUST still be convened.  

Model letter 9 - cancelled exclusion or suspension letter to parent/carer and where applicable copy in social worker and or Vitual School

Setting work for excluded pupils For any permanent exclusion, headteachers should take reasonable steps to ensure that work is set and marked for pupils during the first five school days where the pupil will not be attending alternative provision. Any appropriate referrals to support services or notifying key workers (such as a pupil’s social worker) should also be considered.
Guidance to schools on marking attendance registers following permanent exclusion Whilst a permanently excluded pupil’s name remains on a school’s admission register, the pupil should be marked using the appropriate attendance code. Where alternative provision has been made and the pupil attends it, an appropriate attendance code, such as Code D (Dual Registered - at another educational establishment) or Code B (Off-site educational activity, if the provision is an approved educational activity that does not involve the pupil being registered at any other school), should be used. Where pupils are not attending alternative provision, they should be marked absent using Code E (para 145).

 


Suspension from school 

Notification guidance 

Paper form notifications to the local authority are only required for any suspension that would mean the pupil would miss a public examination or national curriculum test via the ex1 form, sent using secure email Galexkey, to the exclusionsteam@bradford.gov.uk inbox. All other notifications will be collected from the school data management systems and headteachers should ensure a school system is in place that ensures these are input without delay (page 30).

Whenever a headteacher suspends a pupil they must, without delay, notify parents/carers of the period of the suspension and the reason(s) for it.

For notifications of suspension to parents under paragraph 62, although this must not delay notification, notification should be in person or by telephone in the first instance as this would allow parents to ask any initial questions or raise concerns directly with the headteacher. The written notification, sent without delay following this decision, must include information in paragraph 63, to which model letters can be found below based on the applicable heading for numbers of days suspension the pupil has received. 

Whenever a headteacher suspends a pupil they must, without delay, after their decision, also notify the social worker, if a pupil has one, and the Virtual School Headteacher, if the pupil is in care to the Local authority, of the period of the suspension or permanent exclusion and the reason(s) for it. The information in paragraphs 65 to 68 must be provided in writing to the local authority. The model letters have been updated to allow schools to CC a copy of the parent/carer letter where this duty is relevant.

For a child who is looked after please email a copy of the suspension notification letter school sends to the Parent/Carer and social worker to the headteacher of the virtual school via the virtualschoolenquiries@bradford.gov.uk inbox using the subject heading ‘exclusion’, without delay. Please also use this inbox for further correspondence, such as the invite to any Governor meeting and a copy of any decision letter on the matter of the reinstatement consideration where applicable. 

Checklist for head teachers and governors to support decision making

Information Leaflet - Suspension from school - information for parents. Please include with the letter to parent.

Model Letters to parents/carer for suspensions 

(where applicable copy to social worker and or Vitual School)

Letter 1 - Suspension where the total number of days suspended from school is 5 days or less over the term, and where a public examination is NOT missed


Letter 2 - Suspension where the total number of days suspended from school (including this exclusion) is more than 5 and up to and including 15 days suspensions in a term 


Letter 3 - Suspension issued and with this occurrence the pupil now has a total of over 15 days of suspension in the term.
 

Model letter 9 - cancelled exclusion or suspension letter to parent/carer 

Guidance for Governors 

Governing boards have a key responsibility in considering whether excluded pupils should be reinstated. This forms part of their wider role to hold executive leaders to account for the lawful use of exclusion, in line with the duties set out in law, including equalities duties. Governors should have a good understanding of Behaviour in Schools (2022) and Exclusion and suspension from school, including pupil moves (2022) and related legislation and guidance.

Information for Chairs

Your headteacher should ask you as Chair of the governing board whether there are clear processes in place for considering suspensions and permanent exclusions, such as:

• Ensuring parents and pupils are aware of their right to consideration by the governing board

• Asking whether the governing board have taken steps to find a convenient date that the parent, other relevant parties, the local authority representative (if relevant) and the headteacher can attend, within the legal time limits

• Asking the governing board whether they have considered how to involve the pupil in the consideration process

• Collecting all relevant documents, anonymising them, if required, and providing them to all parties.

Education from the 6th day 

For a suspension of more than five school days, the governing board (or local authority about a pupil suspended from a PRU) must arrange suitable full-time education for any pupil of compulsory school age. This provision is commonly called alternative provision and must begin no later than the sixth school day of the suspension. Where a child receives consecutive suspensions, these are regarded as a cumulative period of suspension for the purposes of this duty. This means that if a child has more than five consecutive school days of suspension, then education must be arranged from the sixth school day of suspension, regardless of whether this is because of one decision to suspend the pupil for a number of days or multiple decisions to suspend the pupil for several periods in a row (page 32), until the suspension period ends. This duty also applies following a decision to permanentl exclusion of a pupil following on from a suspension decision. The law does not allow head teachers to extend a suspension or ‘convert’ to a suspension into a permanent exclusion. However, in exceptional cases, usually where further evidence has come to light, a further suspension may be issued to begin immediately after the first period ends; or a permanent exclusion may be issued to begin immediately after the end of the suspension; in these cases the day 6 duty may then apply.

 

The chair of the governing board should ensure that there are clear processes in place to comply with its legal duty to arrange suitable full-time educational provision for pupils of compulsory school age from the sixth consecutive school day of a suspension. What this includes can be accessed here.

The governing board’s duty to consider 

suspensions or exclusion

Part Seven of the Statutory guidance sets out that Governing boards have a key responsibility in considering whether excluded pupils should be reinstated. This forms part of their wider role to hold executive leaders to account for the lawful use of exclusion, in line with the duties set out in law, including equalities duties.

The following parties must be invited to a meeting of the governing board and allowed to make representations or share information:

• parents (and, where requested, a representative or friend);

• the pupil if they are 18 years or over;

• the headteacher;

• a representative of the local authority (in the case of a maintained school or PRU);

 • the child’s social worker if the pupil has one; and

• the Virtual School Headteacher if the child is in care to the Local authority.

A summary of when the governing board’s have a duty to review the headteacher’s exclusion decision can be accessed here.

Where a meeting has been convened to consider the reinstatement of a pupil permanently excluded, where the headteachers decision to exclude is upheld, parents have the right to request an independent review and request that an SEN expert attends. 

Model letters are provided by the LA to support information required by Boards being provided to parties below. 

Support to Governors suspension -exclusions reinstatement consideration meetings

PDC Procedure proposed outline when holding a meeting considering reinstatement

PDC Meeting checklist considerations by Governors

 

Decision model letters 

(where applicable copy to Social workers and/or vitual school)

Model letter 5 Governors uphold head teacher decision - letter to parent for permanently excluded pupils

Model letter 6 Governors reinstatement decision letter to parent from a headteachers permanent exclusion decision

Model letter 7 Governors reinstatement decision from Suspension

Model letter 8 Governors uphold head teacher decision - letter to parent for for suspended pupils


 

 


Page owned by Karen Roper, last updated on 15/09/2022. This page has been viewed 6,260 times.