Exclusions

Exclusions

Contact: Karen Roper

email: exclusionsteam@bradford.gov.uk

Tel: 01274 439333     

The Department for Education has today 09/07/2020 published;  A Checklist for school leaders to support full opening: behaviour and attendance  following the Covid 19 school measures over the Summer term 2019. Please find the link below. 

This checklist is to assist all school leaders and staff in preparing to welcome back all pupils full-time from the beginning of the autumn term (see full opening guidance). It is a tool for schools to support the re-engagement of pupils and the return to orderly and calm environments in which all pupils can achieve and thrive. The tool is intended for mainstream schools and has been developed by the Department for Education (DfE) with input from the Department’s Lead Behaviour Adviser, Tom Bennett, and the behaviour adviser team.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/899384/Checklist_for_school_leaders_on_behaviour_and_attendance.pdf         

Changes to the school exclusion process during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak from 1 June 2020

 

This statutory guidance describes the temporary changes made to the school exclusion process due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The link is below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-exclusion/changes-to-the-school-exclusion-process-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak

The new regulations change some of the procedures that must be followed in relation to an exclusion, to give greater flexibility to schools, parents and local authorities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. They apply to all maintained schools, academies (including alternative provision academies but excluding 16 to 19 academies) and pupil referral units (PRUs).

The normal arrangements and procedures that must follow a decision to exclude on disciplinary grounds are described in the 2017 statutory guidance ‘Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England’. They are unchanged except as noted below.

The term ‘governing board’ used throughout this guidance includes the governing body of a maintained school, the management committee of a PRU or an academy trust.

Important dates

The arrangements come into force on 1 June 2020 and will apply to all exclusions occurring from then until 24 September 2020 (inclusive of those dates). The arrangements also apply to:

  • permanent and fixed term exclusions occurring before 1 June which have not yet been considered by the governing board of the school
  • permanent exclusions occurring before 1 June which have been considered by the governing board, if they have chosen not to reinstate the pupil and the time limit to apply for a review of this decision has not passed
  • permanent exclusions occurring before 1 June where a parent (or pupil aged 18) has requested a review of a governing board’s decision, but this has not yet happened

Any exclusions covered by the arrangements will continue to be subject to them after 24 September 2020, until the procedures for scrutiny of the exclusion have been exhausted.

An exclusion should be taken as having ‘occurred’ on the first day of the exclusion (not the date when the decision to exclude was made or communicated).

Remote access meetings

When governing boards or independent review panels (IRPs) have to meet to consider an exclusion, they can do so via telephone or video-conference software (‘remote access’) as long as certain conditions are met.

The conditions are that it is not reasonably practicable for the meeting to take place in person, within the usual timescales, because of coronavirus (COVID-19), and that the governing board (or arranging authority, if the meeting is an IRP) is satisfied that:

  • all the participants agree to the use of remote access
  • all the participants have access to the technology which will allow them to hear and speak throughout the meeting, and to see and be seen, if a live video link is used
  • all the participants will be able to put across their point of view or fulfil their function
  • the meeting can be held fairly and transparently via remote access

It is the responsibility of the school governing board (or the arranging authority in the case of an IRP meeting) to make sure these conditions are met before a meeting takes place.

The governing board or arranging authority should assess the facts of the case, the circumstances in which a meeting in person could be expected to take place, the needs of the intended participants (as far as this is possible), and the latest public health guidance when determining whether it would be reasonably practicable to meet in person.

Arranging a remote access meeting

The governing board or arranging authority should explain the technology they propose to use to participants and should make sure that the participants (particularly pupils and their families) know that they do not have to agree to a meeting to be held via remote access if they do not want to. They should make families aware that if they do not consent to a remote access meeting then the meeting is likely to be delayed.

Though all participants must have agreed to the use of remote access, where a parent or pupil has given their agreement for a meeting to be held via remote access, the other participants should make reasonable efforts to accommodate that preference unless there is a clear reason not to.

The normal requirements for who must be invited to a governing board or IRP meeting remain in place. However, those who have no intention of taking part in the meeting should not be treated as ‘participants’ for the purposes of the conditions stated above.

Governing boards, arranging authorities and panel members must comply with relevant equalities legislation and recognise that some participants may find it difficult to participate in a remote access meeting (for example, if someone has a disability or if English is not their first language).

If a meeting is held via remote access, every effort should be made by the chair to check the participants understand the proceedings and can engage with them, to ensure the meeting is conducted fairly. If, once the meeting starts, the meeting cannot proceed fairly (for example, because a participant cannot access the meeting), the governing board or IRP should adjourn the meeting.

The use of remote access does not alter other procedural requirements that may apply to governing boards, arranging authorities or IRPs. For example, if a parent requests the appointment of a special educational needs (SEN) expert to advise a review panel, the local authority/academy trust must appoint one and cover the cost as normal. Parents may bring a friend or representative, as normal.

Though governing boards and IRPs must consider written representations if they are made, the law does not allow for solely paper-based ‘meetings’, conducted in writing.

As long as the conditions for a remote access meeting are met, it is possible for some participants to be present in person and for others to join the meeting via remote access. All the participants must have access to technology which will allow them to hear and be heard by others throughout (and to see and be seen throughout, if a live video link is used).

Timescales for meetings of governing boards

If it has not been reasonably practicable for governing boards to meet in person within the original time limit for a reason related to coronavirus (COVID-19) or remotely for a reason relating to the other conditions for a remote access meeting, the time limit for the meeting will be extended.

The time limit for a governing board meeting will not be extended if it has already passed before 1 June. The government appreciates that it may not have been possible to meet the normal time limits over recent months, due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the health risks of holding meetings. Governing boards should arrange for overdue meetings to take place via remote access, if the conditions for such a meeting are met, or in person as soon as it is safe and practicable to do so.

If a time limit for a meeting has been extended, the governing board should reassess at regular intervals whether it is reasonably practicable to meet in person and, if it is, should arrange to do so without delay, in light of the need to minimise uncertainty for pupils and their families as far as possible.

Meetings to consider permanent exclusions, and fixed period exclusions resulting in the pupil missing more than 15 school days in a term

If a pupil is permanently excluded or receives a fixed period exclusion which results in them having been excluded for 16 or more school days in a term, then the governing board should try to meet to discuss reinstatement within 15 school days. If it has not been reasonably practicable for the governing board to meet face to face within 15 school days for reasons relating to coronavirus (COVID-19), and it has not been reasonably practicable to meet by way of remote access for a reason relating to the conditions for a remote access meeting, the limit will be extended to 25 school days, or as long as reasonably necessary for a reason related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Meetings to consider fixed period exclusions resulting in the pupil missing between 6 and 15 school days in a term

If a pupil receives a fixed period exclusion which results in them having been excluded for at least 6 school days in a term but not more than 15 school days in that term, and the parent (or pupil, if aged 18 or above) chooses to make representations about the exclusion, then the governing board should meet to discuss reinstatement within 50 school days. If it has not been reasonably practicable for the governing board to meet face to face within 50 school days for reasons relating to coronavirus (COVID-19), and it has not been reasonably practicable to meet by way of remote access for a reason relating to the conditions for a remote access meeting, the limit will be extended to 60 days, or as long as reasonably necessary for a reason related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Timescales for application for independent reviews of exclusions

Where a governing board declines to reinstate a pupil who has been permanently excluded, parents (or the excluded pupil, if they are 18 years old or above) can apply for a review of the governing board’s decision.

For exclusions covered under these arrangements, the deadline for applications has increased to 25 school days from the date on which notice in writing of the governing board’s decision is given to parents, or directly to the pupil if they are 18 or above.

Schools must wait for the extended period of 25 school days to pass without an application having been made before deleting the name of a permanently excluded pupil from their admissions register, in accordance with the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended.

Timescales for meetings of independent review panels to consider permanent exclusions

If it has not been reasonably practicable for a review panel to meet in person within the original time limit of 15 school days for reasons related to coronavirus (COVID-19), and it has not been reasonably practicable to meet by way of remote access for a reason relating to the other conditions for a remote access meeting, the timescale for the meeting will be extended to 25 school days, or as long as reasonably necessary for a reason related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The time limit for an IRP meeting will not be extended if it has already passed before 1 June. The government appreciates that it may not have been possible to meet the normal time limits over recent months, due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the health risks of holding meetings. Arranging authorities should arrange for overdue meetings to take place via remote access, if the conditions for such a meeting are met, or in person as soon as it is safe and practicable to do so.

Schools beginning re-opening following Covid 19 measures from June 1st are referred to the following DfE Guidance in relation to queries regarding Exclusions:

19.1 Will pupils be punished if they deliberately disobey rules on protective measures?

It is important for schools to be calm and disciplined environments, where everyone follows the rules. Before they reopen, schools should update their behaviour policy to reflect the new protective measures and new rules and routines. It should also include appropriate consequences (such as sanctions and rewards), so that staff can ensure pupils understand them and can enforce them rigorously. The disciplinary powers that schools currently have, including exclusion, remain in place. Schools will be aware that the current circumstances can affect the mental health of pupils and their parents in a way that affects behaviour. Our guidance on mental health and behaviour in schools sets out how mental health issues can bring about changes in a young person’s behaviour or emotional state and how this can be reflected within the approach to behaviour set out in Creating a Culture.

The link to this guidance:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing#behaviour-and-exclusions

19.4 What is the effect of coronavirus on governing boards’ duties to consider reinstatement of excluded pupils, and the process for independent review panels (IRPs)?

The timeframes set out in the School Discipline (Pupil Exclusions and Reviews) (England) Regulations 2012 remain in force. This applies to all exclusions, including those that were issued before 23 March.

The government appreciates that it may not be possible to meet the timeframes set out in regulations for review meetings and IRPs, due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak and the health risks of holding meetings. The Regulations themselves envisage that the timeframes may not always be met, which is why they specify that meetings and panel hearings must still go ahead even if the relevant deadline has been missed. It is for the governing board or arranging authority to assess the facts of the case and decide whether the statutory deadlines are achievable or whether, in the circumstances, the meeting has to be delayed. Governing boards and arranging authorities should continue to take reasonable steps to ensure meetings are arranged for a time when all parties are able to attend.

 

The link for the above guidance is https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing 

 

School Exclusion The latest guidance on exclusions (2017) may be downloaded here. Exclusion Procedures should be followed in all cases - click here for the table. 

For advice and guidance on all pupil exclusion matters please contact Karen Roper on the email address or telephone number above.

Decisions to exclude pupils from school are made by the Headteacher. There are three types of exclusion fixed term, lunchtime and permanent exclusion. In cases of permanent exclusion only should the Ex1 form be completed and sent to the local authority exclsuion team exclusionsteam@bradford.gov.uk via secure email.

For parents/carers there is an exclusion Frequently Asked Questions  document here,  Annex A - A summary of the governing board's duties to review the head teacher's exclusion decision and Annexe C - A Guide for parents. 

Parents and head teachers can also seek advice from The school Exclusion Project https://schoolexclusionproject.com 

From the1st April 2019 schools are not required to send paper/electronic copies of the EX1 form or parent letters to the Local Authority for Fixed and Lunchtime Exclusions. These two types of exclusion require schools to record them on Capita via their schools' data management system and send the exclusion letter to parents.

Fixed Term

These are short-term exclusions and pupils must be given a date for return to school. A return date should be given to parents in the letter informing them of the lexclusion.

Lunch time

Pupils whose behaviour is disruptive at lunchtime and are excluded for the lunchtime session count as a fixed period exclusion of ½ day. A return date should be given to parents in the letter informing them of the lunchtime exclusion period.

For Permanent Exclusions schools are required to inform the Local Authority on the day the decision is made.

Schools must send a completed Ex1 form, a copy of the Headteacher letter to the parent informing them of the exclsuion and reason for it, and form Ex3 to the Admissions and Exclusion Team via secure email (Galaxkey) to exclusionsteam@bradford.gov.uk Pupil Witness statements where possible should be obtained.

For permanent exclusions educational provision is organised by Children's Services, Admissions and Exclusions Team from day 6 of the permanent exclusion.

Day 6 Provision - Children's Services Guidance

For all excluded pupils, the laws states the Headteacher must write to parents straight away stating:

  • The type of exclusion imposed
  • The reason for the exclusion
  • When the pupil may return to school if it is a fixed term exclusion
  • How parents can appeal against the exclusion

Model Letters are provided below:

Letter 1 - Fixed-period exclusion of 5 days or less, and where a public examination is NOT missed
Letter 2 - Fixed-period exclusion of 6 to 15 days, or where cumulative exclusions in the same term fall within this range
Letter 3 - Fixed-period exclusion issued and with this occurance means that the pupil now has 16 or more days cumulative exclusions in the same term.
Letter 4 - Permanent exclusion letter to parent
Letter 5 - Notification of PDC decision upholding permanent exclusion

Letter 6 - Notification of PDC decision - re-instatement                
Enclosed with each letter should be a copy of the Guidance for Parents Leaflet.

Pupils with SEND or in Care to the Local Authority

Pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) should not be permanently excluded in the first instance. School should make a fixed term exclusion and contact the SEND officer for an urgent review of the EHCP.

Where a pupil is 'looked after', schools should contact the Head teacher for the Virtual School, Jonathan Cooper, to discuss concerns and update their support plan as required. 

School reporting to DfE

As well as reporting on day one of a permanent exclusion to the Admissions and Exclusion Team the school is required to update their Information Management system with this exclusion. When a permanent exclusion has completed the process and if the pupil is then removed from the school roll they are required, at set points in the school year, to report these to the DfE on the Collect System. 

Withdrawal (rescinding) of a permanent exclusion decision

Head teachers can withdraw any permanent exclusion not reviewed by the Governing Board. In these cases schools are required to send a copy of the withdrawn letter to parent to the Admissions and Exclusion Team and they MUST ensure their Information Management Team is made aware of this to ensure their system is updated with the withdrawn exclusion decision. 

Where there has been a permanent exclusion decision withdrawn and the criteria in  Appendix A – A summary of the governors boards duty to review the head teachers decision to exclude - are met then a governor meeting MUST still be convened.  

Useful Information

Bradford's Head teacher and Governor exclusion checklist can be found here

Statutory guidance is attached underneath:

Annex A - A summary of the governing board's duties to review the head teacher's exclusion decision

Annex B - A non-statutory guide for head teachers

Annex C - A guide for parents/carers

Pastoral Support Programme Pro Forma

PDC Procedure

PDC Meeting

Title

Understanding Exclusions and The Governor Role at Pupil Disciplinary Committees

Description of training

The role of Governors in overseeing exclusions is not one many governors have experience of when they offer their support to schools. This course will look at exclusions (both fixed term and permanent), the legislation and guidance around this connected to schools’ policies and the impact on students, families and schools. There will be a particular emphasis on the role of Governors in the permanent exclusion process and independent review to ensure this difficult process is undertaken in a transparent and fair way supporting Governors to make decisions at the Pupil Disciplinary Committee with increased confidence.

Suitable for

School Governing bodies and trust boards. It may also be suitable for senior leaders in school so they understand the permanent exclusion process in detail.

Duration

Two hours

Cost

 

£400 up to a max of 20 staff.

£500 up to a max of 40 staff.

 

   

Exclusions Training Booking Form

Address:

Admissions and Exclusion Team

Exclusion Officers

First Floor Margaret McMillan Tower

Prince's Way

Bradford

BD1 1NN


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