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Legal Advice If Your Teenager Has Been Excluded From School

Legal Advice If Your Teenager Has Been Excluded From School

Legal Advice If Your Teenager Has Been Excluded From School

If your teenager has been excluded from school, you may understandably be feeling worried and concerned for their future and unsure about what steps to take next.

If your teenager has been excluded, the school should have contacted you immediately, followed by a letter of confirmation.

The letter should detail the reasons for the exclusion as well as explain what steps have been taken to avoid this decision.

If you have been served a letter stating that your teenager has been excluded there are steps you can take to appeal this decision.

This blog will explain your options and what action you can take to help your child move forward.

What age can a child be excluded from school?

A child can be excluded from school at any age in the UK, including during the early years of education.

However, if they are of compulsory school age (aged 5-16 years) then the local council must provide an alternative educational provision for them to ensure they remain in full-time education.

When a suspended or permanently excluded pupil is of compulsory school age, the head teacher will notify the pupil’s parents that their child must not be present in a public place during school hours for the first five days of the suspension or permanent exclusion.

If the exclusion extends beyond five days and your child is of compulsory school age, then the governing board or local council must arrange suitable full-time education for them.

This provision is commonly called alternative provision and must begin no later than the sixth school day of the suspension.

Why would a child be excluded from school?

A child may be expelled from school for various reasons, typically due to behaviour that significantly disrupts learning, poses a risk to others, or breaches school policies.

Common causes include persistent disruptive behaviour, physical aggression or serious breaches of conduct.

Exclusion is considered a last resort, and schools are expected to explore alternative measures first.

It’s crucial for parents to engage with the school during this process, to seek understanding of the reasons behind the exclusion.

Our education law solicitors can provide further advice if your teenager has been excluded from school. Contact our solicitors today.

How many times can you be excluded from school?

There are two types of exclusion: suspension (sometimes known as fixed-term or fixed-period exclusion) and permanent exclusion (sometimes called expulsion).

A suspension lasts for a specific period of time. A pupil may be suspended for one or more fixed periods, up to a maximum of 45 school days in a single academic year.

The law doesn’t allow for extending a suspension or turning it into a permanent exclusion from school. In special cases, if new evidence emerges, another suspension may start right after the first one, or a permanent exclusion may follow immediately after a suspension.

Suspensions can also be for specific parts of the school day, for example, a pupil might be suspended from the premises during lunch. In this instance, the headteacher must legally inform parents, in the same way as a whole-day suspension.

What should I do if my teenager has been excluded from school?

If your child has been excluded from school for over five days or the exclusion will cause them to miss an exam, you should appeal to the governing body at the school to overturn the decision based on these grounds. The school governors will meet within 15 days of the exclusion to decide if the decision is lawful. The governors will either agree with the exclusion or overturn it and you will be informed of this decision in writing.

If the decision is not overturned internally by the school, the next step is to request an independent review from the local council. You can request an independent review within 15 school days of the date on the letter. The hearing must take place within 15 school days of your request. You have a right to ask for a SEND expert to come to the hearing.

If your child is still excluded, you can ask the Local Government Ombudsman or the Department for Education to look at whether your case was handled properly. However, they cannot overturn the exclusion.

If the exclusion has not been overturned, you may wish to look at other schools in the area to find alternative arrangements. However, as we said above, if your child is of compulsory school age the local authority has a duty to provide your child with a full-time education so your child will receive this either way.

Our specialist education solicitors can assist you in appealing a decision to exclude your child.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our education law senior legal administrator, Rachael, on 01895 207230 or educationteam@ibblaw.co.uk.

Rachael can arrange for you to have a fixed fee initial consultation with one of our solicitors, to discuss exclusion or suspension from school.

What should I do if I feel my teenager has been discriminated against?

If your child has Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and you don’t believe the school took this into account, you may want to seek legal advice from one of our Education Law Solicitors.  We provide specialist advice on SEND issues.

Schools are expected to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate students with disabilities and where this has not been the case, our solicitors can assist you in challenging the decision to exclude.

You can make a claim to a court or a first-tier tribunal if you think your child’s been discriminated against because of a disability. You need to do this within six months of the exclusion.

Can my teenager return to the same school after being excluded?

Yes, your teenager may be allowed to return to the same school after being excluded, depending on the circumstances. After a fixed-term exclusion, the school will typically arrange for your teenager to return automatically.

If the exclusion is permanent, you can appeal the decision. The school governors will review the case, and if they find in your favour, your teenager may return to the same school. If the governors uphold the exclusion, you can explore alternative schools. Seeking advice from education authorities or legal professionals can guide you through the process of appealing an exclusion and exploring suitable options.

What alternatives are available if returning to the same school is not possible?

If returning to the same school is not possible after exclusion, there are alternative options available. You can explore transferring your teenager to another mainstream school or consider specialist provisions such as alternative provision (AP) or pupil referral units (PRUs). These alternatives aim to provide tailored support for students facing challenges.

Seeking guidance from educational professionals, local authorities, or legal experts can help you find the best educational solution for your teenager’s needs.

Get in touch with our Education solicitors specialising in school exclusions

The information given here is intended for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.

For specific guidance relevant to your situation and to arrange an initial fixed fee education law consultation, with one of our special educational needs lawyers please contact our education law senior administrator, Rachael, on 01895 207230 or email educationteam@ibblaw.co.uk.

Rachael will explain the process and if you want to proceed with a fixed-fee consultation, she will send you a link to enable you to book an online appointment, for a day and time that is most convenient to you.