23 Jul School exclusion arrangements due to change in September
New arrangements for school exclusion come into force in September 2012.
These will apply to any pupil excluded on or after 1 September 2012 from a maintained school, academy school / Free School, alternative provision academy / Free School or pupil referral unit in England.
As of September 2012 the process for challenging a school’s decision to permanently exclude a pupil changes, Independent appeal panels being replaced by independent review panels.
Where requested by a parent, an SEN expert will need to be appointed by the local authority or academy trust to advise the independent review panel.
The independent review panel will be able to uphold the decision to permanently exclude a pupil; recommend that the governing body reconsider its decision; or direct the governing body to reconsider its decision. A direction to reconsider will be limited to circumstances where a panel decides that the school has acted illegally, irrationally or where there are significant flaws in procedure.
Where a governing body decides not to offer to reinstate a pupil following a direction from a panel to reconsider its decision, the panel will be expected to require an adjustment to a schools budget or payment of £4,000 towards the cost of alternative provision.
Where a parent alleges discrimination (under the Equality Act 2010) in relation to a fixed period or permanent exclusion, they will also be able to make a claim to the First-tier Tribunal (for disability discrimination) or a County Court (for other forms of discrimination).
Full guidance can be found in this document from DFE