Exclusion Policy

Date CreatedDate 1st Review DueDate ReviewedVersionNext Review Due
September 2022September 2023   
September 2023 2September 2024

Rationale

This policy deals with the policy and practice which informs the school’s use of exclusion. It is underpinned by the shared commitment of all members of the school community to achieve two important aims:

  1. The first is to ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the school community, and to maintain an appropriate educational environment in which all can learn and succeed;
  2. The second is to realise the aim of reducing the need to use exclusion as a sanction.

What legislation does this guidance refer to?

  • Section 51A of the Education Act 2002, as inserted by the Education Act 2011
  • The School Discipline (Student Exclusions and Reviews) (England) Regulations 2012 & Updated Guidance from September 2017
  • Sections 100 to 108 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006
  • The Education (Provision of Full-Time Education for Excluded Students) (England) Regulations 20074

1 Introduction

The decision to exclude a student will be taken in the following circumstances:-

The decision to exclude a student will be taken in the following circumstances:-

(a) In response to a serious breach of the school’s Behaviour Policy;

(b) If allowing the student to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the student or others in the school.

Exclusion is an extreme sanction and is only administered by the Principal (or, in the absence of the Principal, the Head of Centre).

Exclusion, whether fixed term or permanent may be used for any of the following, all of which constitute examples of unacceptable conduct, and are infringements of the school’s Behaviour Policy:

  • Actions which put the student or others in danger.
  • Verbal abuse to staff and others
  • Verbal abuse to students
  • Physical abuse to/attack on staff
  • Physical abuse to/attack on students
  • Indecent behaviour
  • Damage to property
  • Misuse of illegal drugs
  • Misuse of other substances
  • Theft
  • Serious actual or threatened violence against another student or a member of staff.
  • Sexual abuse or assault.
  • Supplying an illegal drug.
  • Carrying an offensive weapon.
  • Arson.
  • Unacceptable behaviour which has previously been reported and for which school sanctions and other interventions have not been successful in modifying the student’s behaviour.

This is not an exhaustive list and there may be other situations where the Principal makes the judgment that exclusion is an appropriate sanction.

2 Exclusion procedure

  • The vast majority of exclusions are of a fixed term nature and are of short duration (usually between one and five days).
  • The DfE regulations allow the Principal to exclude a student for one or more fixed periods not exceeding 45 school days in any one school year.
  • Following exclusion parents/carers are contacted immediately where possible. A meeting will be called or a letter sent by post giving details of the exclusion and the date the exclusion ends. Parents/carers have a right to make representations to the Principal.
  • If the fixed term exclusion is greater than five days or an accumulation of exclusions exceed five days, a Pastoral Support Plan will be drawn up. This needs to be agreed with the school, student and parents/carers.
  • During the course of a fixed term exclusion where the student is to be at home, parents/carers are advised that the student is not allowed on the school premises, and that daytime supervision is their responsibility, as parent/carer. You cannot extend a fixed-term exclusion, or convert it into a permanent one. Instead, if a longer exclusion is required, you must issue a new fixed-term or permanent exclusion to begin immediately after the first one ends.

3 Re-admittance

Following all fixed-term exclusions a re-admittance meeting will be held prior to the student returning to lessons. The meeting will include the student, his parent(s) or carer(s) and a member of the Senior Leadership Team, and where appropriate other members of staff. The purpose of the re-admittance meeting is to review the cause of the exclusion, address any concerns and agree any further interventions to prevent reoccurrence – this may include referral to outside agencies.

We will always support a student to reintegrate successfully into school life and education following a period of suspension.  Egham Park School will design a readmittance strategy that:

  • Offers the student a fresh start
  • Helps them to understand the impact of their behaviour on themselves and others
  • Teaches them how to meet the high expectations of behaviour in line with the Egham Park School ethos
  • Fosters a renewed sense of belonging within the school community; and builds engagement with learning

The readmittance strategy should be clearly communicated at the readmittance meeting, as should the fact that the student is valued, and their previous behaviour will not be seen as an obstacle to future success.

The Principal will arrange a readmittance meeting at a time, date and location that is convenient to the parents/carers, local authority representatives and other interested parties.  This must not cause unnecessary delay in readmitting the student into school.

The purpose of the meeting is to:

  • Talk about why the student was excluded and the steps taken to try and avoid it
  • Discuss ways in which the student can be supported to change the behaviour
  • Seek the views of parents/carers, student and local authority representatives; and
  • Agree on a strategy for readmitting the student into school and for managing their future behaviour.

4 Permanent Exclusion

The decision to exclude a student permanently is a serious one. There are two main types of situation in which permanent exclusion may be considered.

  1. The first is a final, formal step in a concerted process for dealing with disciplinary offences following the use of a wide range of other strategies, which have been used without success. It is an acknowledgement that all available strategies have been exhausted and is used as a last resort. This would include persistent and defiant misbehaviour including bullying (which would include: racist or homophobic bullying) or repeated possession and or use of an illegal drug on School premises.
  2. The second is where there are exceptional circumstances, and it is not appropriate to implement other strategies and where it could be appropriate to permanently exclude a student for a first or ‘one-off’ offence. These might include:
    • Serious actual or threatened violence against another student or a member of staff.
    • Sexual abuse or assault.
    • Supplying an illegal drug.
    • Carrying an offensive weapon *.
    • Arson.

* Offensive weapons are defined in the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 as “any article made or adapted for causing injury to the person; or intended by the person having it with them for such use by them.”

NB: The school will consider police involvement for any of the above offences.

These instances are not exhaustive but indicate the severity of such offences and the fact that such behaviour seriously affects the discipline and well- being of the school. Governors should be considering the reinstatement of a student, rather than the decision to exclude.

5 General factors the School considers before making a decision to exclude:

The Principal broadly considers the following procedure.

  • Exclusion will not be imposed instantly unless there is an immediate threat to the safety of others in the School or the student concerned. Before deciding whether to exclude a student either permanently or for a fixed period the Principal will:
  • Ensure appropriate investigations have been carried out.
  • Consider all the evidence available to support the allegations taking into account the school’s Behaviour, Equal Opportunities and Equality Policies.
  • Allow the student to give his version of events.
  • Check whether the incident may have been provoked for example by bullying or by racial or sexual harassment.

If the Principal is satisfied that on the balance of probabilities the student did what he is alleged to have done, exclusion will be the outcome.

6 Exercise of discretion

In reaching a decision on temporary or permanent exclusion, the Headteacher will always look at each case on its own merits. Therefore, a tariff system, fixing a standard penalty for a particular action, is both unfair and inappropriate.

In considering whether permanent exclusion is the most appropriate sanction, the Principal will consider a) the gravity of the incident, or series of incidents, and whether it constitutes a serious breach of the school’s Behaviour Policy and b) the effect that the student remaining in the school would have on the education and welfare of other students and staff. Nonetheless, in the case of a student found in possession of an offensive weapon, whether there is an intention to use it or not, it is the school’s usual policy in this particularly serious matter to issue a permanent exclusion and possibly involve the Police.

Notices of exclusions can be given electronically if parents/carers have given written agreement for notices to be sent in this way.

7 Alternatives to Exclusion

Alternative strategies to exclusion are always used if possible. However, the threat of a permanent exclusion will never be used as the means to coerce parents to move their child to another school.

Where a fixed term exclusion is more than five days the school will put into place, in liaison with other agencies, provision to ensure that the students receive the statutory requirement of education.

8 Behaviour Outside School

Students’ behaviour outside school on school “business” for example school trips and journeys, travelling to and from school, or a work experience placement is subject to the School Behaviour Policy. Bad behaviour in these circumstances will be dealt with as if it had taken place in School. For behaviour outside School but not on school business this policy will still have effect if there is a clear link between that behaviour and maintaining good behaviour and discipline among the student body as a whole. If students’ behaviour in the immediate vicinity of the School or on a journey to and from school is poor and meets the School criteria for exclusion, then the Principal may decide to exclude.

9 Drug and substance misuse Related Exclusions

In making a decision on whether or not to exclude for a drug-related offence, the decision will depend on the precise circumstances of the case and the evidence available. In some cases fixed term exclusion will be more appropriate than permanent exclusion.