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Exclusions and Behaviour and Attendance Partnerships

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Presentation on theme: "Exclusions and Behaviour and Attendance Partnerships"— Presentation transcript:

1 Exclusions and Behaviour and Attendance Partnerships
Presented by: Ralph Holloway – Team Manager, Children’s Support Service John Hill – Principal Officer, Children’s Support Service

2 Exclusions Fixed-term - including lunchtimes
Up to 45 days in an academic year (length of exclusion) Permanent

3 Exclusions - The Role of the Governing Body
Make arrangements for hearing (quorum 3 governors) Consider representations Must consider exclusions of more than fifteen days and permanent exclusions Provide opportunity for the pupil to participate in the process

4 Exclusions - The Role of the Governing Body
Must decide whether the pupil should be re-instated Role of the Governing Body is highlighted by recent case law Case considered on the balance of probabilities

5 Exclusion - At the meeting
All Parties, including pupil, allowed to express their views Questions from governors and other parties Governors making decisions should not have prior knowledge Natural Justice must prevail

6 The role of the clerk: Prior to the meeting
Where the parent makes representations or the exclusion is over fifteen days or permanent the head teacher will ask the clerk to arrange a meeting of the Pupil Discipline Committee. The clerk will liaise with members of the committee and head teacher to agree a date for the meeting within the agreed timescales. An agenda will need to be sent to each member of the committee and parent setting out the business to be discussed and the procedure to be followed

7 The clerk will inform the parent of the date of the meeting and advise them of their right to attend and to be accompanied by a friend if they wish. The head teacher will prepare a report on the pupil setting out the background to the decision to exclude and details of the strategies adopted by the school to help the pupil overcome his/her difficulties prior to exclusion. This should include the involvement of other agencies who can offer support to the school/pupil. The clerk must send the report to the members of the committee and the parent prior to the meeting of the committee.

8 In the case of permanent exclusions the clerk must inform the Local Authority to give them the opportunity to attend the meeting and send them a copy of the head teacher’s report. Where the Local Authority decides not to attend they will submit a statement to be presented to the meeting. In many cases, particularly at secondary schools, the excluded pupil can also attend to give their version of events. The school and the parents may also bring witnesses to the meeting and these will be called upon at the relevant points during the proceedings.

9 The role of the clerk: At the meeting
The clerk will need to ensure that the meeting room is set out in an appropriate way so that governors, head teacher and parents have respective areas. The clerk should meet with the governors prior to the meeting to establish the procedures for the meeting, who is to be chair and how all those present are to be introduced. Whilst the meeting needs to be formal it can be a quite overwhelming experience for parents attending and the chair should make every effort to make the parent feel as much at ease as possible. Some parents become emotional and you need to be prepared for this.

10 The clerk must ensure that the head teacher and parent enter and leave the meeting at the same time. Neither party should be in attendance without the other being present. The clerk will take no active part in the meeting/ask questions etc. but will ensure that the procedure is followed and offer advice to the chair in a confidential manner where it appropriate to do so on procedural issues. Detailed notes will be taken of the discussions under each section of the proceedings. It is important to record the decision of the committee and the reasons for it. The committee will need to be satisfied that the incidents leading to the pupil’s exclusion did in fact take place and that the action of the head teacher in excluding was appropriate and in accordance with the school’s behaviour code. An outline of the decision making process is available on the ECA website ( and all members of the committee and the parent should have a copy of this prior to the meeting.

11 The committee can make only one of two decisions:
To uphold the decision of the head teacher in excluding the pupil or In the case of a permanent exclusion or fixed term exclusion over five days to order the reinstatement of the pupil. (In the case of fixed term exclusions it is most likely that the pupil will have returned to school by the time the meeting is held.) The committee cannot order re-instatement of the pupil for exclusions of less than five days. Where the committee do not support the head teacher’s decision to exclude for a fixed term the views of the committee can be added to the pupil’s record.

12 The role of the clerk: After the meeting
The clerk must inform the parent in writing within one school day of the decision of the committee and the reasons for it. This must be by letter using postal services – not by , text message or phone. If the decision is to uphold a permanent exclusion the parent must be advised of their right to appeal to the Statutory Appeal Committee and where to send their appeal. (For Essex this is: The Clerk to the Independent Appeal Panel, PO Box 11, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1LX). The headteacher must also be informed of the committee’s decision. In the case of permanent exclusions the Local Authority must also be informed.

13 In the case of permanent exclusions the Local Authority must also be informed.
Where the decision to permanently exclude is not upheld and reinstatement is ordered arrangements will need to be made for the pupil’s re-admission to the school. The minutes of the meeting should be prepared as quickly as possible and sent to the chair of the meeting for any comment prior to being sent to other members of the committee.

14 These minutes are confidential and will not normally be sent to other members of the governing body. The governing body will, however, need to be informed that the meeting has taken place and the outcome. A copy of the minutes should be sent confidentially to the head teacher for retaining on the pupil’s file. The Local Authority may request a copy of the minutes for presenting to the Statutory Appeal Panel should the parent decide to appeal against the committee’s decision, so accuracy is of vital importance. In addition, the clerk must retain the original notes of the meeting, which may be needed for an appeals hearing.

15 DECISION-MAKING PROCESS Some points for members of discipline panel to consider when reviewing the headteacher’s decision to exclude a pupil Did the pupil, on the balance of probabilities, commit the breach of the school’s discipline policy of which they are accused? Would allowing the pupil to remain in school seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school? Did the school evidence that all the strategies available had been exhausted prior to the decision to exclude? Did the headteacher have any alternative to exclusion?

16 Is the head teacher’s decision in line with the school’s published discipline policy?
Was the decision to exclude based upon a serious one-off incident or for an accumulation of offences? Is the pupil defined as having special needs? Has the pupil been identified as having a disability? If so, has the pupil been treated less favourably than other pupils and has reasonable adjustment been made in regard of their disability?

17 Was the incident provoked (for example by bullying or racial or sexual harassment)?
Are you satisfied that a full and appropriate investigation was undertaken? Did the school apply the correct procedures when excluding the pupil? Was the pupil given the opportunity to give their own version of events?

18 Exclusions - Sources of reference
Improving Behaviour and Attendance: Guidance on Exclusion from Schools and Pupil Referral Units Statutory Instrument No. 3178/2002

19 Behaviour and Attendance Partnerships
Nine Behaviour and Attendance Partnerships (BAPs) established in Essex from September 2008 All secondary schools in Essex belong to a partnership Schools share data, good practice and identify solutions for pupils Provision panels to asses and plan for the appropriate placement and support for hard to place pupils are embedded in the partnerships. A number of the partnerships have identified and commissioned additional provision from the private and voluntary sector to support identified cohorts of vulnerable pupils. Requirement on BAPs to report annually on outcomes to Children’s Trusts Primary BAPs to be established from September 2009

20 Commissioning provision to improve behaviour and attendance through BAPs
Funding to employ a Parent Support Advisor Funding for the employment of a Mental Health Project Worker Establishment of nurture groups in ten secondary schools Bespoke alternative provision at local college Funding for Family Support Workers Employment of a broker to support schools, the LA and parents and pupils in identifying appropriate provision for hard to place pupils Engagement project for Year 8 pupils – one day per week for summer term and support through Year 9 Workshops for BAPs established in conjunction with Behaviour Support to build capacity in schools and meet local training needs

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