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High Court critical of exclusions guidance

1 August 2014

The first reported High Court case arising from the exclusions framework which came into force in September 2012 has been published. The judge was critical of the expectation of the framework to require lay panels (IRPs) comprised of volunteers to make decisions based on complex judicial review principles. He also criticised the guidance for being unclear on the judicial review principles and the requirements of decision making on reconsideration by a governing body following an adverse decision by the IRP.

Whilst guidance can never cover off every eventuality in the exclusion process, the exclusions guidance was a concise document and did lack vital detail on certain key issues – evidence, judicial review principles and how schools should deal with reconsideration hearings. Given that the new framework has been in operation for nearly two years, it would be an opportune moment to reflect on the decision and issue updated guidance providing greater clarity to improve decision making.

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