School Exclusions Solicitors

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School Exclusions Solicitors

Legal Support for School Exclusions

If your child is suspended or excluded from school, it can be distressing, confusing and disruptive. Not knowing how to respond can be stressful, particularly when your primary concern is to get your child back into school and to ensure your child receives the best possible education.

IBB Law can provide advice to help you decide the best course of action. We can also provide professional legal support throughout the subsequent appeal process.

We have a specialist team dealing with a range of education issues, including school suspensions and exclusions. We have previous experience of advising clients on how to respond to school exclusions, by making appeals to governing bodies and to an independent review panel. Our team spend 100% of their time on education work. We do not dabble; we are specialist education lawyers. This is what we do.

We do not act on behalf of schools or their governing bodies. We only act on behalf of children, students and their parents.

If your child has been excluded and you need a school appeal lawyer, give us a call (01895 207230)

Our school exclusions solicitors can advise on issues including:

  • Fixed term exclusions
  • Suspensions
  • Permanent exclusions
  • Exclusions where a child has Special Educational Needs
  • Exclusions involving possible discrimination against a protected characteristic
  • Appealing school exclusions
  • Meetings with school governors to challenge a permanent exclusion
  • Meetings at Independent Review Panels to challenge decisions of a school governing body
  • Referring an exclusion to the Local Government Ombudsman (or Education Funding Agency for academies or free schools)

Please note that we are only able to take on cases on a privately paying basis. If you are unable to privately fund your case, you may want to seek advice from Citizens Advice.

We offer a fixed fee initial consultation with our team to discuss your needs and see how we can help. We then charge for our services on an hourly basis, providing certainty over the costs involved.  We understand you will be concerned about money and want to know how much it will cost to challenge a school exclusion.   We try to meet your concerns and thus in some cases, we may be able to offer a further fixed fee, to make representations on your behalf, to challenge the school exclusion, to the school governing body and, if necessary to the independent review panel.

For specialist school exclusions guidance and to arrange an initial fixed fee meeting, which will be conducted by video call, please contact our education law senior legal administrator, Rachael,  on 01895 207230 or email  educationteam@ibblaw.co.uk   Get in contact and talk to a school appeal solicitor.

How our school exclusions solicitors can help you

Independent advice on school exclusions

If you or your child have been excluded from school or are facing possible exclusion, it is important to fully understand the process involved and your rights, including the right to appeal an exclusion.

Our school exclusions solicitors can explain what is happening in plain English, talking you through what exclusion means and what actions you can take. We are non-judgmental, so will be happy to hear about your circumstances and provide honest advice about your chances of avoiding exclusion or appealing an exclusion.

Appealing a school exclusion

You may have the right to appeal a school exclusion, depending on the circumstances and, if so, to request a meeting with the school to appeal the school exclusion. You should seek expert advice at the earliest opportunity as the longer you or your child are excluded, the greater the risk of long term impact on your daughter or son. Even if you have started the process of appealing the school exclusion decision, with the meeting to consider your challenge fast approaching, we may be able to assist in delaying that meeting, to prepare a more persuasive appeal to the governing body of the school.

Our school exclusions solicitors are highly experienced in guiding people through exclusion appeals, so can make sure you have the right strategy, a clear understanding of the relevant rules and law, and all of the necessary evidence to make your appeal as strong as possible.

Independent Review Panels

If a child has been permanently excluded and the governing board has decided not to reinstate the pupil, after your school exclusion appeal, an Independent Review Panel can be convened at the parents’ request. While the panel has no statutory authority to reinstate the pupil, it can recommend that the board of governors reconsider their decision.

There are strict time limits for the Independent Review, so you should seek school exclusion legal advice regarding a possible appeal as early as possible. IBB Law can help you prepare for an appeal, identify key documents to place before the independent review panel and represent you at the appeal hearing.

Our school exclusions solicitors’ fees

We offer a fixed fee initial consultation with our team to discuss your needs and see how we can help. We then charge for our services on an hourly basis.

Should you wish to proceed, we will provide a realistic cost estimate for dealing with your matter. Any billable work carried out will always be agreed upon with you in advance, giving you complete certainty and transparency over the costs involved.

The exact cost of our services will depend on the nature of your problem, including the amount of time and level of expertise needed to support you effectively. We will be happy to discuss this with you after the initial fixed fee consultation.

Although we charge for our services on an hourly basis, we may be able to offer a fixed fee rate for further work, after the initial meeting, giving you peace of mind and providing certainty and transparency over the costs involved.

For more information on our education law pricing, please get in touch.

Common questions about school exclusions

What is a School Suspension?

A school suspension is for a fixed period of time, eg number of school days or, perhaps, for part of a school day or for a lunchtime. The fixed time school suspension means the child cannot attend school for that period.

What is a School Exclusion?

There are two possible types of school exclusion:

Fixed Term Exclusion

A Fixed term exclusion is also known as a school suspension. A school can remove a child for a specified period of time, such as a week or ten days, up to a maximum of 45 days in a single academic year.

A school suspension can start immediately or a specific date. The school are required to advise the parents of the school suspension as soon as possible and to confirm in writing.

In some circumstances, the board of governors will be required to review the exclusion. In other cases, parents may be able to request a meeting or ask that written representations be considered.

Permanent Exclusion

A permanent exclusion should be a last resort as it means a child will not return to that school. A permanent school exclusion means the child or student must leave the school on a permanent basis and receive their education elsewhere.  A school permanent exclusion is sometimes called a school expulsion.

Parents will be advised of the school exclusion promptly and confirmed in writing, providing the parents with reasons for their child being permanently excluded. The school exclusion can start immediately or on a later date.

A school exclusion should be reserved for cases where there have been persistent breaches or a single severe breach of the school’s behaviour policy. The welfare and education of other children at the school will also be considered.

The governing body will be required to review the exclusion and will have the power to rescind it.

What information must a school give parents about a suspension or permanent exclusion?

Whether a fixed term suspension or exclusion the headteacher must provide reasons and the period of suspension or, for a permanent exclusion, stating that fact. The written notice to parents should make them aware of their entitlement to make representations about the suspension or exclusion to the governing body of the school. The parents must also be told about how the representations, to challenge the suspension or appeal, should be made. Finally, parents must be informed of their rights to attend a meeting, to be represented at that meeting and to bring a friend. A pupil, if over age 18, can also attend the appeal meeting.

Can you appeal a school exclusion?

Most schools will be required to abide by the Department of Education statutory guidance regarding school exclusion. The grounds on which an exclusion decision has been made must be:

  • Lawful
  • Fair
  • Reasonable
  • Proportionate

How many children are excluded from school and how many children were suspended from school?

The most recently published figures from the Department for Education (DoE) report there were 6,495 permanent exclusions in 2021/22, which was an increase on the 2020/21 figure of 3,928. In 2018/19 there were 7,900 permanent exclusions.

The Department for Education also reported on pupil suspensions. In 2021/22, the figure was 578,280, an increase from 352,454 in 2020/21. In 2018/19 the number of suspensions were 438,300.

The Department for Education advise that data on the reason for suspensions and permanent exclusions changed in 2020/21. Up to three reasons can be recorded for each suspension or permanent exclusion.

The DoE report the most common reason across all permanent school exclusions was persistent disruptive behaviour, recorded 3,050 times (against 47% of permanent exclusions). The same reason was also the most common across all school suspensions, recorded 289,600 times (against 50% of suspensions).

Can a school take account of behaviour outside of school?

Behaviour outside as well as inside the school can be taken into account. The school’s behaviour policy should set out what is expected of pupils both on and off school premises. Any Special Educational Needs that may be a factor in pupil behaviour need to be considered.

If parents consider a suspension or exclusion is due to discrimination a claim can be made to a tribunal or to a court.

Our specialist education solicitors can answer these questions:

  • Do schools have to have an exclusion policy?
  • What happens if a child is excluded from school?
  • Are school exclusions permanent?
  • What is a school exclusion?
  • Do school exclusions go on a child’s or student’s record?
  • How do I appeal a school exclusion?
  • How do I appeal a school suspension?
  • What can I do if I believe my child was discriminated against in the decision to exclude them from school?

Get confidential advice and expert support from our school exclusions solicitors

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

For expert advice and support talk to our school exclusion solicitors.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our education law senior legal administrator, Rachael on 01895 207230 or email educationteam@ibblaw.co.uk

Rachael can arrange for you to have a fixed fee initial consultation with one of our solicitors.


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