Exclusion from Maintained Schools
The decision to exclude a pupil for either a fixed term or permanently is made at the discretion of each individual school. Every school should have a behaviour policy, available upon request and any discipline should be in accordance with this policy.
My child has been excluded - is the exclusion lawful?
If your child attends a maintained school or sixth form college attached to a maintained school, an exclusion is only considered lawful if the school notifies you of your child's exclusion in writing. This notification must include the following:
- Type of exclusion - either fixed term or permanent
- Length of exclusion (if fixed term)
- The reason for the exclusion
- Advice to parents on their right of appeal against the exclusion
If exclusion is for a:
- Fixed Term - You can ask the school for the opportunity to make representations to the School Governors.
- Permanent - You have the right to make representations to the School Governors. If the School Governors do not overturn the exclusion then you can appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel (IAP).
If you do not receive the above notification then any exclusion will be considered unlawful and there is a legal remedy.
Is the exclusion lawful if my child is excluded for reasons such as discrimination?
Technically so long as the school provides you with the written notification as explained above the exclusion is considered lawful. However, if your child has been discriminated against due to an SEN or disability you might have grounds to pursue a claim for disability discrimination. For further advice see Discrimination
What happens to my child's education while they are excluded?
When a child has been excluded from a maintained school for a fixed period the school is under a duty to provide and mark work for them.
If your child is permanently excluded the local authority has a duty to provide them with full-time education from the sixth day of their exclusion.
You should be aware that for the first 5 days of any exclusion your child must not be seen in a public place during school hours without a justifiable reason. If your child has no justifiable reason then you could be liable for a fixed penalty notice of £50 if paid or part paid within 28 days increasing to £100 if not paid within 42 days or a maximum £1000 fine.
What help is available?:
If your child has been excluded we can assist with the following:
- advising and assisting with unlawful exclusions;
- advising, drafting grounds of appeal and representations to the School Governors, or an appeal to an IAP;
- If you have appealed to an IAP and have received notification that the appeal was unsuccessful, we can review the decision to assess if any further action can be taken;
- Assisting in securing education while your child is excluded; and
- Assisting in securing full time education for your child if permanently excluded
Exclusion from Independent Schools, Colleges and Universities
Independent schools, colleges (except those attached to maintained schools) and universities have their own rules/regulations and policies, which must comply with the Human Rights Act 1998. If you or your child are excluded from one of these institutions you should check whether or not the exclusion is in accordance with their rules/regulations and policies. If you are concerned that the reason for exclusion is discrimination you might have grounds for a claim for discrimination. Please click on Discrimination for further information:
In addition to this if you are paying fees for your course you will have a contract with the institution. If you consider that your exclusion was not in line with the institutions policies, rules/regulations or the terms of your contract you might have grounds for claiming damages for breach of contract. Please follow this link to Students for further advice regarding this.
For more information please contact our Education Law Solicitor Samantha Hale on Colchester (01206) 835230 or email Education@fjg.co.uk. We also have offices in Chelmsford and Clacton in Essex.