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Pupil behaviour and school exclusions

Dealing with incidents of poor behaviour remains a key issue in all types of school and continues to attract high profile attention nationally. We support trusts and schools in dealing with incidents and provide practical advice on the options available to ensure teaching and learning is not adversely affected. We also seek to protect trusts and/or schools from complaints or claims.

We regularly provide advice on the exclusions process as well as tailored and comprehensive training on the exclusions framework. We’ve been involved in supporting schools with threatened legal action (including claims under the Human Rights Act 1998) arising from exclusion decisions. We’ve also provided representation for numerous schools at governing body review meetings and/or independent review panels. We have provided training for a secondary academy on the requirements of the exclusions process and have been appointed to support the establishment of Independent Review Panels to review permanent exclusion decisions in a number of academies.

What we do

We can advise you in relation to:

  • Drafting or reviewing behaviour policies – ensuring your policies are up to date.
  • Advising on options to avoid exclusion including alternative provision and managed moves.
  • Helping you to conduct investigations lawfully, including searches, screening and confiscation, and avoiding unlawful practices such as off-rolling and unofficial exclusions.
  • Supporting you on decisions to exclude on a fixed term or permanent basis.
  • Reviewing or drafting exclusion letters from principal/head teacher, governing board or Independent Review Panel (IRP).
  • Helping you deal with complaints arising from behavioural issues or exclusion decisions.
  • Advising on SEND or equalities issues arising from sanctions in relation to behaviour.
  • Establishing frameworks for schools to collaborate on discipline and exclusion issues.

We can also provide:

Your service options

We offer a range of service level options, depending on the needs of your trust and/or school and the specific issues you face.

  • Quickcall and MAT Quickcall - Unlimited email/telephone queries on any matter that can be resolved within 30 minutes by a dedicated team of specialist education lawyers.
  • MAT Partner Plus - Specifically designed for MATs that have a central team managing its legal advice needs, this service offers unlimited email/telephone queries on any matter that can be resolved within one hour.
  • Fixed fee - We will always look to offer you the certainty of a fixed fee where possible. Our training for governing boards and IRPs on the exclusions framework is charged competitively for a two hour session. Find out more >
  • Hourly rate - On occasion the nature of the instruction requires us to charge on an hourly rate basis (available on request). We will provide you with a clear estimate for the work and keep you updated as your matter progresses.

Next steps 

If you would like to instruct us to assist you, please give us a call and we would be happy to discuss your specific needs.

Key contacts


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