Statement of intent
At the Independent Jewish Day School, we understand that good behaviour and discipline is essential for promoting a high quality of education.
Amongst other disciplinary sanctions, the school recognises that exclusion of pupils may be necessary where there has been a serious breach, or consistent breaches, of the school’s Behaviour Policy. Excluding a pupil may also be required in instances where allowing the pupil to remain in school would be damaging to the education of others; in all cases, excluding pupils should only be used as a means of last resort.
The school has created this policy to clearly define the legal responsibilities of the Headteacher, Directors and LA when responding to pupil exclusions, in order to ensure that they are dealt with both fairly and lawfully, and in line with DfE statutory guidance.
This policy also aims to secure a pupil’s right to an education despite having been excluded, by ensuring that appropriate arrangements are in place.
1 Legal Framework
This policy has due regard to the related statutory legislation, including but not limited to, the following:
- The Education Act 2002 (As amended by The Education Act 2011)
- The School Discipline (Pupil Exclusions and Reviews) (England) Regulations 2012
- The Education and Inspections Act 2006
- The Education (Provision of Full-Time Education for Excluded Pupils) (England) Regulations 2007 (As amended 2014)
- European Convention on Human Rights (EHCR)
- The Equality Act 2010
1.1 This policy also has due regard to statutory and non-statutory guidance, including, but not limited to, the following:
- DfE ‘Exclusion from maintained schools, Academies and pupil referral units in England’ 2012
- DfE (2016) ‘Behaviour and discipline in schools’
- DfE (2015) ‘Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years’
2 Grounds for Exclusion
2.1 The school will only exclude a pupil where it is absolutely necessary, and where all other possible disciplinary sanctions, as detailed in the school’s Behavioural Policy, have failed to be successful.
2.2 The following examples of behaviour may underline the school’s decision to exclude a pupil:
- Any incident which poses a risk to other pupils or members of staff
- Any incidents which breach the law
- Persistent and severe bullying
- Verbal and physical abuse
- A single, serious and major incident, e.g. serious assault on another individual leading to injury
2.3 Pupils can be excluded on a fixed period basis, i.e. up to 45 school days within a year, or permanently. Similarly, fixed period exclusions can be extended into permanent exclusions where further evidence has been presented.
2.4 In all cases, the Headteacher will decide which exclusion period a pupil will be subject to, depending on what the circumstances warrant.
3 The Headteacher's Authority
3.1 Only the Headteacher has the power to exclude a pupil from the school, and is able to decide whether this is on a fixed period or permanent basis. All exclusions will only be issued on disciplinary grounds.
3.2 Any decision made to exclude a pupil will be lawful, proportionate and fair, with respect to legislation relating directly to exclusions and the school’s wider legal duties. All exclusions will be formally recorded.
3.3 When sending a pupil home following any exclusion, the Headteacher will ensure that they exercise their duty of care at all times and will always inform the parents/carers.
3.4 The Headteacher will apply the civil standard of proof when responding to the facts relating to an exclusion, i.e. that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ it is more likely than not that the facts are true.
3.5 The Headteacher may withdraw any exclusion that has not already been reviewed by the Directors.
3.6 At all times, the Headteacher will take into account their legal duties under The Equality Act 2010 and the SEND Code of Practice ensuring that they do not discriminate on any grounds, e.g. race, sex, disability, etc., and will not increase the severity of a pupil’s exclusion on these grounds.
4 Factors to Consider when Exclusing a Pupil
4.1 When considering the exclusion of a pupil, the Headteacher will:
- Allow the pupil the opportunity to present their case.
- Take into account any contributing factors that are identified after a case of poor behaviour has occurred, e.g. if the pupil’s wellbeing has been compromised, or they have been subjected to bullying.
- Take into consideration whether the pupil has received multiple exclusions or is approaching the legal limit of 45 excluded days per school year, and whether exclusion is serving as an effective sanction.
- Consider early intervention to address underlying causes of disruptive behaviour, including liaising with external agencies, to assess pupils who demonstrate consistently poor behaviour.
4.2 The Headteacher will consider what extra support may be available for vulnerable pupil groups whose exclusion rates are higher, in order to reduce their risk of exclusion, including the following:
- Looked after children (LAC)
- Pupils eligible for free school meals
- Pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
- Certain ethnic groups
4.3 In light of the above, the Headteacher will consider avoiding permanent exclusion for pupil groups who are particularly vulnerable to the impacts it would create for them, such as LAC.
4.4 Where any member of staff has concerns about vulnerable pupil groups and their behaviour, they will report this to the Headteacher who will consider what extra support or alternative placement is required.
4.5 The Headteacher will work in conjunction with the parents/carers of any pupil with additional needs, in order to establish the most effective support mechanisms.
5 Duty to Inform Parents/Carers
5.1 Following the Headteacher’s decision to exclude a pupil, they will inform the parents/carers immediately, without delay, of the period of the exclusion and the reasons behind this.
5.2 The Headteacher will inform the parents/carers in writing, of the following:
- The reasons for the exclusion
- The length of the fixed period exclusion, or, for a permanent exclusion, the fact that it is permanent
- The parents’/carers’ right to raise any representations of the exclusion to the Directors, including how the pupil will be involved in this and how the representations will be made
- The parents’/carers’ right to attend a meeting where there is a legal requirement for the Directors to consider the exclusion, and the fact that they are able to bring an accompanying individual
- The arrangements that have been made for the pupil to continue their education prior to the organisation of any alternative provision, or the pupil’s return to school
- Relevant sources of free, impartial information
5.3 Where the pupil is of compulsory school age, the Headteacher will inform the parents/carers by the end of the afternoon session that:
- For the first five days of the exclusion, parents/carers are legally required to ensure that their child is not present in a public place during school hours without justification, and that parents/carers may receive a penalty fine if they fail to do so.
5.4 Where the Headteacher has arranged alternative provision, the Headteacher will also inform the parents/carers of the following:
- The start date for any provision of full-time education, including starting and finishing times
- The address at which the provision will take place
- Any information necessary for the pupil to identify the person they should report to on the starting date
5.5 Where the Headteacher is unable to provide information on alternative provision by the end of the afternoon session, they will provide the information in a subsequent written notice without further delay, and within 48 hours of the pupil beginning the provision.
5.6 If the alternative provision is due to begin before the sixth day of exclusion, the Headteacher is able to give less than 48 hours of notice, with the parents’/carers’ consent.
5.7 If the Headteacher has decided to extend the pupil’s exclusion from a fixed period to permanent, they will notify the parents/carers of the extended exclusion, the reasons for this and any other important information.
6 Duty to Inform the Directors and LA
6.1 The Headteacher will inform the Directors and LA, without delay, of the following:
- Any permanent exclusions (including where a fixed period exclusion has been extended to be permanent)
- Any exclusions which would result in the pupil being excluded for more than five school days in a term
- Any exclusions which would result in the pupil being absent from an examination or national curriculum test
6.2 All notifications to the Directors and LA will include the reasons for exclusion and the duration of any fixed period exclusion.
6.3 If the pupil who is excluded lives outside the LA in which the school is located, the Headteacher will notify the pupil’s ‘home authority’.
7 Arranging Education for Excluded Pupils
7.1 For any fixed period exclusions of more than five school days, the school will arrange suitable full-time education for the pupil, which will begin no later than the sixth day of exclusion.
7.2 The school will not arrange full-time education for any pupil who is currently in their final year of compulsory education, and who does not have any further public examinations to sit.
7.3 The school is aware that it is beneficial to excluded pupils to begin their alternative education arrangements before the sixth day of exclusion. The school will always attempt to arrange alternative provision before the sixth day of exclusion.
7.4 Where it is not possible to arrange alternative provision during the first five days of exclusion, the school will ensure that they take reasonable steps to set and mark work for the excluded pupil.
7.5 If a pupil with SEND has been excluded, the school will ensure that any alternative provision is arranged in consultation with the parents/carers, who are able to request preferences.
8 Considering Exclusions
8.1 The Directors, or a delegated committee, will consider any representations made by parents/carers in regard to exclusion.
8.2 Parents/carers, the Headteacher and, where applicable, a member of the LA, will be invited to attend any consideration of exclusions and will be able to make representations.
8.3 Any meeting to consider an exclusion will be arranged at a date and time convenient for all parties, and in compliance with any statutory time limits.
8.4 The Directors will consider exclusions, and the reinstatement of the pupil, where:
- The exclusion is permanent.
- The exclusion is fixed period, and would bring the pupil’s total number of excluded school days to more than five in any given term.
- The exclusion would result in the pupil missing a public examination.
8.5 The Directors will consider exclusions within 5 school days of receiving representations from parents/carers.
8.6 In the case of a fixed period exclusion, where the pupil’s total number of excluded school days does not amount to more than five, the Directors will consider any representations made by parents/carers, but will not be able to reinstate the pupil.
8.7 Where exclusion would result in a pupil missing a public examination, the Directors will consider the exclusion before the test to decide whether the pupil should be reinstated in time to take the examination.
8.8 In light of the above, the Directors will also consider whether it would be appropriate to allow the excluded pupil to enter on to the premises to take the examination.
8.9 When considering exclusions, the Directors will:
- Only discuss the exclusion with the parties present at the meeting.
- Ask for any written evidence prior to the meeting.
- Circulate any written evidence and information to all parties, at least two school days in advance of the meeting.
- Allow pupils and parents/carers to be accompanied by a person of their choice at the meeting.
- Consider what reasonable adjustments need to be made to support the attendance and contribution of parties at the meeting.
- Identify the steps needed to enable and encourage the excluded pupil to attend the meeting and speak on his/her behalf, or how he/she may contribute personal views by other means if attendance is not possible.
- Consider the interests and circumstances of the excluded pupil, including the grounds for exclusion.
9 Reaching a Decision
9.1 After considering exclusions, the Directors will either:
- Uphold an exclusion; or
- Reinstate the pupil immediately, or on a specified date.
9.2 If reinstatement is not possible, e.g. if the pupil has already returned to school following a fixed period exclusion, the Directors will consider whether the Headteacher’s decision to exclude the pupil was fair, lawful and proportionate, based on the evidence presented.
9.3 In order to reach a decision, the Directors will:
- Identify the steps they intend to take to ensure that all parties involved will have the opportunity to participate and present their views.
- Ensure that minutes are taken of the meeting as a record of the evidence that was considered.
- Ask all parties to withdraw from the meeting before concluding their decision.
- Consider whether the exclusion of the pupil was lawful, proportionate and fair, taking into account the Headteacher’s legal duties.
- Record the outcome of the decision on the pupil’s educational records, along with copies, which will be kept for at least six months.
10 Notification of Considered Exclusions
10.1 The Directors will notify the parents/carers of the excluded pupil, the Headteacher and the LA of their decision following the consideration of an exclusion, in writing and without delay.
10.1 The Directors’ decision is final.
Signed: J. Ebrahimoff