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Exclusions - statutory guidance

1 October 2012

On 9 December 2014, the DfE issued updated statutory guidance on exclusions applies which applies to all state funded schools in relation to exclusion decisions from 5 January 2015 onwards. As with previous versions of the guidance, there is a legal duty on schools, the LA, the SEN expert and Independent Review Panels to ‘have regard to’ the guidance, i.e. follow it unless there is a good reason for departing from the guidance.

The guidance does not amend the overall framework surrounding exclusions. The requirements for a clear decision being made by the headteacher, a review by the governing body and, on permanent exclusions, an impartial review by the Independent Review Panel are still in place. The guidance provides greater clarity in some areas including:

  • the headteacher’s decision making process and basic test for permanent exclusion has changed from being a two limbed test to two separate grounds for a permanent exclusion – a serious breach or persistent breaches of the behaviour policy or where allowing the pupil to remain on the school site would be detrimental to the education and welfare of the school community
  • the role of the LA at governing body and IRP hearings must be neutral and they should not support the school or parental case. The role must be to provide additional information to the decision making body on the approach taken by other schools in similar circumstances
  • the decision making process for IRPs is given slightly greater detail and more information is provided about the judicial review tests to be applied in particular on how the IRP should approach the issue of new information when considering whether to quash a governing body decision
  • there is more information on the reconsideration process for governing bodies when they are directed or recommended by the IRP to reconsider their exclusion decision – in particular in relation to whether governors need to meet with parents again and the composition of the reconvened panel
  • the guidance confirms that the only funds payable from school to LA are those required under the School Finance regulations or the exclusions guidance .
  • Exclusions - Statutory Guidance

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