C is seven years old, and is in Year 2. C has a diagnosis of ADHD. His difficulties relate to social interaction and understanding social norms. Since 2008 C has had a statement and is funded for 18 hours 1:1 support per week.
C is permanently excluded for a serious breach of the School’s behaviour policy following an incident where C allegedly threw a school chair at a staff member who suffered injury to her right arm.
A Governing Body hearing was scheduled within 15 days of C’s mother receiving the letter permanently excluding C.
C’s mother requested for a SEN expert to attend the Governing Body hearing (‘GNC’) in order for them to provide their opinion on what adjustments the School ought to have made in order to meet C’s needs.
At the GNC the representative argued that the Head teacher’s decision to permanently exclude the pupil amounted to unlawful discrimination contrary to sections 15, 20 and 21 of the Equality Act 2010.
The exclusion amounted to unfavourable treatment because the exclusion was a reaction to behaviour that directly arose in consequence of C’s disability; the school had failed to make reasonable adjustments for C’s disability that could have prevented situations escalating, namely:
The Governors were persuaded by the representations and disagreed with the Head teacher’s decision to permanently exclude the child, the exclusion was cancelled and the child was allowed to return to school.
H is fifteen years old, and is in Year 11. H has behavioural difficulties, and difficulties relating to receptive and expressive language skills. H does not have a statement.
H is permanently excluded for persistently breaching the School’s behaviour policy and it is the School’s case that allowing him to remain in School would seriously harm the education and welfare of other students and staff.
The last incident involved H allegedly responding to staff in an abusive way after having been asked to return to class after break.
At the GNC the Governors agreed with the Head teacher’s decision to permanently exclude the child. H’s mother decided to take the claim to the Independent Review Panel (‘IRP’) , and engaged the Project.
At the IRP a representative submitted that the decision should be quashed because the process of exclusion and the GNC’s consideration was so flawed that justice was clearing not done.
The Panel were persuaded that the Governor’s decision was unlawful because the School did not take a witness statement from H after the incident; the exclusion letter was insufficient as it did not set out the facts of the incident; H’s mother was not allowed to make representations at the GNC; and the was apparent bias as the Head teacher remained in the room to speak to the Panel after the hearing had ended.
The Governor’s directed that the Governing Body reconsider whether or they agreed with the Head teacher’s decision to permanently exclude H.
The Governors held a second hearing and were persuaded that the Head teacher’s decision to permanently exclude H was unlawful, the exclusion was cancelled and H was allowed to return to school.
Success at the IRP and GNC had a huge impact on the life chances of H as reinstatement enabled him to continue studying towards his GCSEs.
J is twelve years old, and is in Year 8.
J is permanently excluded for a serious breach of the School’s behaviour policy following an incident where J allegedly assaulted another pupil.
At the GNC a representative acting for J’s mother submitted the following:
The School did not take sufficient measures to address the underlying cause of J’s disruptive behaviour and therefore breached their statutory duty. The School failed to provide J with continuing support e.g. a mentor; one-to-one sessions with a Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulties Specialist; and no multi-agency meeting was arranged.
J’s behaviour did not amount to serious harm to the education of others at the School. J’s behaviour, in the past, was adequately managed by the school’s disciplinary measures.
On balance, the Governors agreed with the Head teacher’s decision to permanently exclude J.