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Parents' Guide to Exclusions
Exclusion can be a difficult and worrying time for both you and your child. This page guides you through the exclusion process. It explains your responsibilities as the parent of a pupil who has been excluded, the responsibilities of the school and those of the Education Department.
What is an exclusion?
Exclusion is a very serious matter. It occurs when the Headteacher of a school, after careful consideration, decides that a pupil is not to attend school because of unacceptable behaviour.
There are three types of exclusion which a school can use. Depending on the seriousness of the incident involving the pupil's behaviour, the Headteacher may exclude the pupil for:
- up to five school days-this is known as a Category 1 exclusion
- a period of more than five and up to and including twenty school days - this is known as a Category 2 exclusion
- a period of more than twenty school days - this is known as a Category 3 exclusion.
Why are pupils excluded?
Pupils are excluded from school by the Headteacher when:
- there has been a serious or persistent breach of the school's Behaviour Management Policy.
- allowing the pupil to remain in school represents a serious risk to harming the education of the pupil or others in the school.
- a pupil's presence on the school site would seriously harm the health, safety and welfare of themselves and other pupils or school staff.
What happens when my child is excluded from school?
Whenever possible your child's Headteacher will contact you directly to inform you of the exclusion.
You will receive a letter by post from your child's Headteacher stating:
- why your child has been excluded;
- the length and category of the exclusion;
- the arrangement for a reintegration meeting
- your right of appeal in relation to Category 2 and 3 exclusions.
Category 1 Exclusion
The Headteacher will arrange a reintegration meeting with you and your child to discuss the reasons for the exclusion and how the behaviour which led to it will be avoided in the future.
Category 2 Exclusion
From the 6th school day of the exclusion until the expiry of the exclusion, full time education will be provided for your child at The Link Centre, Collings Road, St. Peter Port, GY1 1FW. You do not need to do anything at this time as the Centre Manager will contact you before the 6th day of the exclusion to make arrangements for you and your child to visit the Centre prior to him/her starting there.
The school will make work available for your child to do while at The Link Centre
The Headteacher will arrange a reintegration meeting with you and your child which will normally take place in school. An Education Officer may attend this meeting.
The Headteacher will want to discuss the reasons for the exclusion and how your child can be supported to make changes to this behaviour in the future. A support plan will be discussed and agreed with you and your child. There will also be a review of expectations and responsibilities of all parties (the school, parents and pupil) needed to enable the plan to be successful.
Category 3 Exclusion
From the 6th school day of the exclusion until the expiry of the exclusion full time education will be provided for your child at The Link Centre, Collings Road, St. Peter Port, GY1 1FW. You do not need to do anything at this time as the Centre Manager will contact you before the 6th day of the exclusion to make arrangements for you and your child to visit the Centre prior to him/her starting there.
The school will make work available for your child to do while at The Link Centre.
If your child has been excluded for more than 20 days an Education Officer will organise a meeting of The Education Placement Panel. You will be informed of the time, date and place of the meeting by letter. This meeting is usually held at the Education Department.
An Education Welfare Officer (EWO) will arrange to meet with you and your child at the earliest opportunity following the Category 3 exclusion. The EWO will advise you of the process that will be followed leading to the meeting of an Education Placement Panel. You and your child will receive advice and support from the EWO throughout the exclusion process, including being present with you and your child at the meeting. You will also be offered the opportunity to meet with an Education Officer to discuss your child's exclusion from school and any issues that you might have prior to the meeting of the Education Placement Panel.
What is the Education Placement Panel?
The Panel will comprise the Director of Inclusion and Support Services or his/her designated representative, an Education Officer and the Lifelong Learning Manager. A Senior Officer of the Health and Social Services Department (Children and Maternity Services) will attend as Advisor to the Panel.
It is the responsibility of the Education Placement Panel to consider all the evidence regarding a pupil's exclusion from school. Anyone who has information regarding the pupil will be invited to attend. These may include the Headteacher, Education Welfare Officer, Educational Psychologist, a representative from the Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) Service and a representative from Health and Social Services Department (Children and Maternity Services).
You as the parents and your child are always invited and it is extremely important that you attend. The Education Placement Panel wishes to know your views.
After all the available evidence has been heard at the Education Placement Meeting, the Panel can make one of four recommendations:
- that the pupil returns to the same school, with conditions, to continue with his/her education;
- that the pupil transfers to another States of Guernsey school;
- that the pupil remains on the school register and is provided with an education programme which involves time out of school arranged by The Link Centre;
- that the pupil's needs and educational requirements may best be met other than in school and further assessment may be required.
The Panel will want to know which option everyone feels would be the best for the pupil. No recommendations are made without careful consideration.
You will be advised verbally of the outcome by the EWO within 24 hours of the Panel meeting. Written notification will be made within 3 working days.
You have the right of Appeal to the Director of Education against the decision of the Education Placement Panel. Please contact the Education Department for details on how to make an appeal.
What are my rights and responsibilities?
- Familiarise yourself with the School's Behaviour Management Policy.
- If your child is having problems, keep in close contact with the school.
- Do everything you can to support the school staff and other professionals in their attempts to improve your child's behaviour. If you and the school are working together, most problems can be sorted out.
- Make sure you can always be reached in an emergency.
- Always attend meetings to which you are invited.
- If your child is excluded make sure the work set is completed. Keep your child as busy as possible. An exclusion is a time for pupils to consider their behaviour, not an additional school holiday.
- Make arrangements, if necessary, for the work set by the school to be assessed by the school and returned.
- Make sure your child realises that an exclusion from school is very serious.
What should I do next?
When you receive the letter of notification of exclusion:
- Talk with your child
- Check the exclusion details
- Decide if you wish to discuss the exclusion with any of the following-School, EWO, Education Officer
- Attend the re-entry meeting or the Education Placement Panel Meeting
You have a Right of Appeal against a Category 2 and 3 exclusion for your child.
Appeal Hearing Procedure
To make an Appeal against a category 2 or 3 exclusion you must write to the Director of Education, setting out the reasons for the appeal. The Director of Education will instigate the Appeal Hearing Procedure.
An Appeal Panel will be constituted by the Education Department and will comprise a member of the Board of Education who will act as Chairperson, an officer representative from the Health and Social Services Department, Children and Maternity Services and an educational professional independent of the school.
The following are entitled to attend a hearing, submit written representations and address the panel:
1. the parent (or, if aged over 18, the pupil), who may be represented or accompanied by an Education Welfare Officer
2. the Headteacher of the pupil's school;
3. an officer or other representative of the Education Department.
An excluded pupil under the age of 18 years should expect to attend the hearing and to speak on her or his own behalf, if that is desired, and the parent agrees.
The Panel cannot compel witnesses to attend the Appeal Hearing.
The Panel may:
- uphold the Headteacher's decision to issue a category 2 or 3 exclusion
- direct reinstatement
- direct reintegration at a later date, or
- decide that it is not practical to require reinstatement.
The Panel's decision is binding on the pupil, the parents and the Headteacher.
Where the Panel has directed a change in exclusion category or reinstatement, they should immediately inform the Headteacher of their decision and specify the date on which the pupil must be readmitted.
Who should I contact for more information?
In the first instance contact your child's school. However, if you wish to discuss the procedures for exercising your Right of Appeal against a Category 2 or 3 Exclusion, please contact the Education Department and ask to speak to an Education Officer or an Education Welfare Officer.
Education Welfare ServiceAddress: Education Department, PO Box 32, St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 3AU
Tel: +44 01481 733000 Fax: +44 01481 728889