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Covid-19 exclusions temporary changes extended

17 March 2021

The Department for Education has updated its supplementary statutory guidance and released new amendment Regulations to the exclusions process in England due to Covid-19.

In essence, the amended guidance and Regulations simply extend the existing Covid changes for exclusions through to 24 September 2021. As a reminder, these changes are:

  • extending the period a parent has to request an Independent Review Panel, following a permanent exclusion being upheld by the governing body, to 25 school days; and
  • allowing remote hearings of both the governing body and an independent review panel where:
    • it is not reasonably practicable for the meeting to take place in person due to Covid-19; and
    • the governing body or the arranging authority for the IRP is satisfied that:
      • all participants agree to the meeting being remote;
      • all have the technology to participate;
      • all participants will be able to put their points across; and
      • it is fair.

When considering whether to hold a meeting remotely, consideration will need to be given to the facts and circumstances of the case, as well as the needs of the participants and the relevant public health advice in place at the time.

All other procedures and timescales apply as set out in the Exclusions Statutory Guidance. Note that in the supplementary statutory guidance, the DfE refers to fixed-term exclusions as ‘suspensions’ and permanent exclusions as ‘expulsions’ as they indicated they would following the Timpson review. This may indicate that new exclusions statutory guidance will be coming in the next few months.

If you need any advice in relation to an exclusion or want to know how we can assist your board, please do get in contact.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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