Please find below the revised guidance from the Department for Education dated September 2017 – “Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England – Statutory guidance for those with legal responsibilities in relation to exclusion” along with the Local Authority documents, letters etc. This relates to any exclusion put in place since September 2017. Any exclusion which is still in process from the last academic year will need to refer to the 2012 guidance
It should be noted that the new guidance no-longer allows schools to change or convert a fixed term exclusion into a permanent exclusion. With this in mind we would suggest that if schools are issuing a fixed term exclusion initially to allow for investigations to take place they use the following wording. Please note that this additional sentence should only be used when the school are considering issuing a permanent exclusion following an investigation.It should not be used as standard format for all fixed term exclusions:
I am writing to inform you of my decision to exclude [Pupil's Name] for a fixed period of [specify period]. This means that he/she will not be allowed in school for this period.The exclusion begins/began on [date] and ends on [date].
I realise that this exclusion may well be upsetting for you and your family, but the decision to exclude [Pupil's Name] has not been taken lightly. [Pupil's Name] has been excluded for this fixed period because [reason for exclusion]. This fixed period exclusion will allow the school time to thoroughly investigate the incident. As a result of these investigations the school may consider issuing a further fixed term exclusion or a permanent exclusion.
Concern has been raised that letters from schools with regard to permanent exclusions are quite brief and do not comply with the statutory guidance given in Paragraph 16 of the Department for Education “ Exclusions from Maintained Schools, Academies and Pupil Referral Units in England – September 2017”, which reads
“A decision to exclude a pupil permanently should only be taken:
- in response to a serious breach, or persistent breaches of the school’s behaviour policy; and
- where allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in school.”
I would like to bring this to the attention of schools to ensure that when excluding children permanently from school they ensure that both areas are covered in their reasoning.