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Southend-on-Sea Exclusion - Guidance for Schools

Exclusion from School
The below information relates to all schools including academy’s.

DfE guidance states that, where a school has concerns about a pupil’s behaviour it should try to identify whether there are any causal factors and intervene early in order to reduce the need for an exclusion. 

Guidance stresses the importance of early, proactive intervention to analyse and alleviate any underlying causes of poor behaviour in school, particularly in relation to pupils with statements of SEN and children looked after. Early intervention to address any underlying causes should include an assessment of whether appropriate provision is in place to support any SEN or disability a pupil may have. Head teachers should also consider the use of a multi-agency assessment (Early Help Family Support Assessment) for pupils who demonstrate persistent disruptive behaviour. Such assessments may pick up unidentified special educational needs but the scope of the assessment could go further, for example by seeking to identify mental health or family problems.

Where plans to improve behaviour are not proving to be effective, schools should also consider whether alternative provision would help improve the pupil’s behaviour.

If a child is at risk of or reaching the point of permanent exclusion, the school (including academy schools) should contact the Executive Headteacher of Victory Park Academy to discuss possible support and alternatives to exclusion. Click here for contact details and referrals for Victory Park Academy’s preventative pathways.

Any pupil with an Education, Health & Care Plan/statement of SEN who is at risk of permanent exclusion must discuss their concerns with the SEND team and arrange an emergency annual review to review the child’s plan and if appropriate education placement. If a Looked After Child is at risk of permanent exclusion the school must discuss their concerns with the Virtual School and request a review of their current plan. Please refer to SBC exclusion guidance and statutory exclusion guidance for further information.

Reporting of exclusion

The head teacher must, without delay, notify the governing body and the local authority* of:

1. A permanent exclusion ( including where a fixed period exclusion is made permanent),
2. Exclusions which would result in the pupil being excluded for more than five school days (or more than ten lunchtimes) in a term; and
3. Exclusions which would result in the pupil missing a public examination or national curriculum test.
4. If a pupil is resident in another local authority area then the home local authority should also be notified.

*For points 1-4 all schools, including academy’s must contact Victory Park Academy immediately and a copy of the letter to parents (containing pupil and parent contact details) must be sent to Mark Aspel preferably by email to maspel@victorypark.org.uk and copied to Cathy Braun Head of Access and Inclusion cathybraun@southend.gov.uk . Where possible, contact should be made with Victory Park before making the decision to permanently exclude, where this is not possible, Victory Park must be notified on the first day of permanent exclusion in order to organise the 6th day education provision. Point 4 requires the above information to also be sent to child’s home local authority.

For all other exclusions the head teacher must notify the local authority and governing body once a term and all fixed term exclusions should be recorded on SIMS (or alternative) immediately. In the case of Fixed Term Exclusions (FTE), schools and academy’s are responsible for providing supervised, full time education from the sixth day of a consecutive fixed term exclusion. This includes separate periods of exclusion that run consecutively. Schools cannot extend FTE’s but they can issue new FTE’s that are consecutive in cases where schools need longer to investigate or risk assess the child returning to school. This can also be helpful when assessing information before making a decision to permanently exclude. The FTE cannot be converted into a permanent exclusion (PEX) but if after investigating the decision is to permanently exclude a PEX may be issued to begin immediately after the end of the fixed period.

Schools and Academies must not:

• Send a pupil home as an ‘informal’ or ‘unofficial’ exclusion, ‘to cool off’. This action is unlawful, regardless of whether they occur with the agreement of parents or carers. Any exclusion of a pupil, even for short periods of time, must be formally recorded.
• It is unlawful for schools to persuade parents to educate their children at home (elective home education) as a way of avoiding an exclusion.

Please refer to attached SBC exclusion guidance, procedures and protocols and model letters; and statutory exclusion guidance for further information.

08 Jun 2018

Author
Cathy Braun
Behaviour & Safety Advice Service (delivered by Southend PLT Campus)
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