Term Explanation
Clerk A ‘clerk’ is a person who makes administrative arrangements for a Governing Body hearing or Independent Review Panel. He or she will arrange the meeting and make a written summary of what is said at it.
First-Tier Tribunal The First-Tier Tribunal is similar to a court, but less formal. It deals with many types of legal issue. These include cases where a pupil has been discriminated against because of a disability.
Fixed-term exclusion A ‘fixed-term exclusion’ is where a pupil is not allowed to go to school for a specified period, usually a few days. After the end of this period, the pupil can go back to the same school. A fixed-term exclusion is sometimes known as ‘suspension’. A school cannot use fixed-term exclusions to exclude a pupil for more than a total of 45 days in any school year.
FTT See First-Tier Tribunal
GDC See Governing Body hearing
Governing Body hearing A ‘Governing Body hearing’ is a meeting that a school’s Governors must hold when the headteacher has decided to make a permanent exclusion. The Governors must decide whether or not they agree with the headteacher’s decision. If the Governors agree with the headteacher’s decision, the exclusion can be challenged at an Independent Review Panel. If the Governors disagree with the headteacher’s decision, the exclusion is cancelled and the child can return to school. A Governing Body hearing is sometimes referred to as a ‘Governors’ Disciplinary Committee’ (GDC).
Governors Governors are the people who have overall responsibility for a school. The headteacher reports to the Governors.
Governors’ Disciplinary Committee See Governing Body hearing
Independent Appeal Panel Independent Appeal Panels no longer exist. They have been replaced by Independent Review Panels.
Independent Review Panel If a Governing Body hearing decides that a pupil should be permanently excluded, this decision can be challenged at an Independent Review Panel. This is often known as an ‘IRP’. An IRP is usually made up of 3 people, who must not be connected to the school from which the child has been excluded. An IRP will decide whether or not the exclusion was lawful. An IRP can order or recommend that a school re-take the decision to exclude. An IRP cannot force a school to take a pupil back.
Informal exclusion An informal exclusion is where a school sends a child home without any formal process – e.g. the school just phones up a parent/carer and asks them to collect their child early because the child is misbehaving. Informal exclusions are illegal.
IRP See Independent Review Panel
JR See Judicial Review
Judicial Review Judicial Review is a way of challenging decisions made by schools (and other public bodies). It involves applying to take a case to court. Judicial Review may be appropriate if a school refuses to hold a Governing Body hearing, or if an Independent Review Panel acts unlawfully.
Managed move If a pupil is at risk of being excluded, a school may agree to try to arrange a ‘managed move’. This involves the pupil transferring to a new school, without being expelled from their old school.
Minutes ‘Minutes’ are a written summary of what is said at a meeting. A clerk usually writes the minutes for a Governing Body hearing or Independent Review Panel.
Permanent exclusion A ‘permanent exclusion’ is where a pupil is expelled from his or her school, and not allowed to go back.
SEN Special Educational Needs
SEN expert A ‘SEN expert’ is a neutral person who may attend an Independent Review Panel to provide impartial advice about how special educational needs may be relevant to the exclusion. A SEN expert must be a neutral professional with first-hand experience of special educational needs issues. A SEN expert will attend an Independent Review Panel if this is requested by the parent/carer of the excluded child. There is no charge for requesting a SEN expert.
Suspension See Fixed-term exclusion