When an exclusion is made
An exclusion is when a child is removed from school by the Head Teacher for either a Fixed term (suspended) or Permanently (expelled).A child can be excluded for one off serious incident and/or persistent breaches of the school’s behaviour policy. Exclusion should only be used as a last resort and only, where possible, when all other avenues have been exhausted. A decision to exclude a child can only be made by the Head Teacher of the school.
Governing Body Hearing
A ‘Governing Body hearing’, also referred to as a ‘Governors’ Disciplinary Committee’ (GDC), is a meeting that a school’s Governors must hold when the head teacher has decided to make a permanent exclusion. The GDC usually takes place at the school the child was excluded from. There will be a minimum of three Governors, one of whom will chair the meeting. Any Governor with a personal connection or prior involvement with the child must step down.
Independent Review Panel
If a School’s Governors uphold a pupil’s exclusion a parent has a right to have this decision reviewed. This is done via an Independent Review Panel ‘(IRP’) the authority for which is under section 7, 16 and 25 of the School Discipline (Pupil Exclusion and Reviews) (England) Regulation 2012. IRPs exist to ensure that the decision to uphold an exclusion was impartial and independent as there occasionally existing a close relationship between a Head Teacher and the School Governors.
If you believe there is an element of discrimination involved with your child’s permanent exclusion you are able to bring a claim to a First-Tier Disability Discrimination Tribunal (FTT) at any time from the date of exclusion. The Equality Act 2010 defines discrimination as treating someone less favourably then you would treat others due to a protected characteristic.
The possible outcomes from Governing Body, IRP and FTT hearings, including how you can appeal further, what options are available to you and the impact this can have a on a student’s education.