Exclusions

Exclusions

Contact: Karen Roper

email: exclusionsteam@bradford.gov.uk

Tel: 01274 439333     

From September it is possible pupils will be excluded for failing to follow COVID protective measures thus a COVID-specific reason code  has been added to capture this data. Where this code is not live by 1st September 2020 the guidance for schools is to use this code as appropriate as soon as it becomes available on their system. This will enable us to have robust data on exclusions which fully reflects the reasons for exclusions. 

Academic year 20/21 is also the first year that schools will be able to select up to 3 reasons for an exclusion so this temporary change will form part of wider amendments to recording.

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 (updated 05/10/2020)

 

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#timescales-for-exclusions-between-25-september-2020-and-24-march-2021

This statutory guidance describes the temporary changes we have made to the school exclusion process due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The changes apply to exclusions from:

  • maintained schools
  • academies (including alternative provision academies but excluding 16 to 19 academies)
  • 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 on exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England. They are unchanged except as noted in this guidance.

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

Important dates

All exclusions occurring between 1 June 2020 and 24 March 2021 (inclusive of those dates) are subject to amended arrangements with regards to:

  • the use of remote access technology (for example videoconferencing or telephone conferencing software) for meetings of governing boards or independent review panels
  • the deadline for applications for an independent review

Governing boards and independent review panels (IRPs) who have a duty to meet to discuss an exclusion that occurred between 1 June 2020 and 24 September 2020 may be eligible for time extensions in some circumstances.

It is important that meetings relating to exclusions occurring between 25 September 2020 and 24 March 2021 take place within the normal timescales described in the exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England statutory guidance.

Governing boards and arranging authorities for independent review panels should take all reasonable steps to meet the normal deadlines for exclusions occurring after 24 September 2020.

They should:

If the deadlines are missed because of coronavirus (COVID-19), the meeting must be held as soon as it becomes reasonably practicable to meet either in person or via remote access (respecting the conditions for such a meeting).

An exclusion should be taken as having ‘occurred’ on the first day of the exclusion.

Any exclusions covered by these arrangements will continue to be subject to them until the procedures for scrutiny of the exclusion have been exhausted.

Remote meetings

For exclusions occurring between 1 June 2020 and 24 March 2021 (inclusive of those dates), meetings of governing boards or independent review panels should be held via remote access if:

  • it is not reasonably practicable for the meeting to take place in person, within the usual timescales, due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • 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.

Those who have no intention of taking part in the meeting should not be treated as ‘participants’ for the purposes of the conditions.

When determining if it’s practicable to meet in person 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)
  • the latest public health guidance (including the guidance for full opening of schools)

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.

Where a parent or pupil has given their agreement for a meeting to be held via remote access, the other participants should accommodate that preference except in exceptional circumstances.

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).

The governing board or arranging authority should take reasonable steps to facilitate a parent, child or young person’s access to the technology required.

If a governor, trustee, panel member or other participant requires support to access or use remote access technology, the governing board or arranging authority should facilitate this to ensure the meeting can be held promptly.

Fairness and transparency

The assessment of whether a meeting can be held fairly and transparently via remote access must be made with reference to the facts of each case and cannot be decided by rigidly following a general policy.

If a governing board or arranging authority is not satisfied that a meeting can be held fairly and transparently via remote access, they should consider what reasonable adjustments could be made to surmount this, consulting with parents and pupils to take account of their wishes.

It will only be in rare cases that a governing board or arranging authority conclude that a remote meeting would not be fair and transparent if the participants have understood the implications of a remote access meeting and have given their consent. In such cases, the governing board or arranging authority should explain to the parent and the pupil why this decision has been taken.

Running the meeting

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 arranging authority must appoint one and cover the cost as normal. Parents may be joined by 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).

To help meetings run smoothly and ensure they are accessible for participants:

  • provide clear instructions to participants about how to join the meeting virtually, and distribute the relevant papers in a timely manner ahead of the meeting
  • indicate a named person who participants can contact, with any questions they may have beforehand
  • ensure the chair is prepared to explain the agenda at the start of the meeting, and to provide clear guidance on how the meeting will be run, for example:
    • how participants should indicate they wish to speak
    • how any ‘chat’ functions should be used
    • whether there will be any breaks in proceedings
    • how participants can access advocacy services during the meeting
  • consider holding a pre-meeting with attendees to check that the available technology is suitable, and all participants understand how to access the meeting

Applications for an independent review

The deadline for applications for an independent review in relation to exclusions occurring between 1 June 2020 and 24 March 2021 will be 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 exclusions between 25 September 2020 and 24 March 2021

Exclusions between 25 September 2020 and 24 March 2021 (inclusive) should follow the deadlines in the exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England statutory guidance, other than the deadline for the application of an independent review.

If it is not reasonably practicable to meet by the usual deadline either in person (because of coronavirus (COVID-19)) or by remote access (because of the conditions for a remote access meeting), the meeting must not be delayed any longer than is reasonably necessary because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Timescales for exclusions between 1 June and 24 September 2020

Governing boards and independent review panels (IRPs) who have a duty to meet to discuss an exclusion that occurred between 1 June 2020 and 24 September 2020 may be eligible for time extensions in some circumstances, which are described in this guidance.

It is important that meetings relating to exclusions occurring between 25 September 2020 and 24 March 2021 take place within the normal timescales as described in the exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England statutory guidance. If the deadlines are missed because of coronavirus (COVID-19), the meeting must be held as soon as it becomes reasonably practicable to meet in person or via remote access (respecting the conditions for such a meeting).

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 is excluded for a fixed period which results in them having been excluded for 16 or more school days in a term, then the governing board should meet to discuss reinstatement within 15 school days.

The limit will be extended to 25 school days, or as long as reasonably necessary, if:

  • the exclusion occurred between 1 June 2020 and 24 September 2020
  • 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)
  • 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

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

If a pupil is excluded for a fixed period 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.

The limit will be extended to 60 days, or as long as reasonably necessary, if:

  • the exclusion occurred between 1 June 2020 and 24 September 2020
  • 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)
  • 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

Timescales for meetings of independent review panels to consider permanent exclusions

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) if:

  • the exclusion occurred between 1 June 2020 and 24 September 2020
  • 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)
  • 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

To minimise uncertainty for pupils and their families, the arranging authority should reassess at regular intervals whether it is reasonably practicable to meet, and if it is, should arrange to do so without delay.

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. 

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 

The head teacher’s duty to inform the governing board and the local authority about an exclusion

The head teacher must, without delay, notify the governing board and the local authority of:
• any permanent exclusion (including where a fixed-period exclusion is followed by a decision to permanently exclude the pupil);
• any exclusion which would result in the pupil being excluded for a total of more than five school days (or more than ten lunchtimes) in a term; and
• any exclusion which would result in the pupil missing a public examination or national curriculum test.

Fixed Term Exclusions 

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 exclusion.

For Fixed Term and Permanent Exclusions

Whenever a head teacher excludes a pupil they must, without delay, notify parents of the period of the exclusion and the reason(s) for it.
They must also, without delay, provide parents with the following information in writing:
• the reason(s) for the exclusion;
• the period of a fixed-period exclusion or, for a permanent exclusion, the fact that it is permanent;
• parents’ right to make representations about the exclusion to the governing board (in line with the requirements set out in paragraphs 52 to 60) 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 exclusion, that parents have a right to attend a meeting, to be represented at that meeting (at their own expense) and to bring a friend.

Lunch Time Exclusions

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 those exclusions detailed above that head teachers are required to inform the Local Authority about without delay and if possible 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 if the exclusion is permanent 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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