If your SEN child has been excluded, don’t despair. You still have options, and we can help.
Exclusion from school
What is exclusion?
Exclusion is when a child has been sent away from their school, either temporarily or permanently.
Legally speaking, a child is either in school full time or they are excluded in one of two ways:
- a fixed term period, where the child must stay away for a specific number of school days
- a permanent exclusion, where the child can’t go back to that school unless the exclusion is overturned on appeal.
However, some schools also use informal or unofficial exclusions, such as sending pupils home to cool off without notification. These are all unlawful, even if parents or carers agree. Unlawfully excluding a pupil with a disability may count as disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.
Pupils can only be excluded for disciplinary reasons. In other words, they can’t be excluded because a school, pupil referral unit (PRU) or academy is unable to meet their needs. Nor can they be excluded for something that their parents did, or failed to do.
The only people who can legally exclude pupils are the head teacher of a school, the teacher in charge of a pupil referral unit (PRU) or the principal of an academy.
Exclusions of children with SEND
Children and young people with SEND are much more likely to be excluded from school than their classmates.
Many are excluded unlawfully – for example, when parents are asked to take them home, or keep them there, without issuing the appropriate paperwork. Every exclusion, however short, must be formally recorded.
How we can help
We can help you appeal against a decision to exclude your child from school.
First, you can appeal to your school’s governing body. If that appeal fails, and your child is permanently excluded, you can make another appeal to an Independent Review Panel.
We can help you write an appeal, and represent you at the appeal hearing(s), if you wish.
To discuss your child’s situation and how we can help, email us or call 07946 362907.
‘The team have always been very approachable, professional and efficient, and I always value their support and guidance. They are a pleasure to work with.’
‘Ravinder and her team have worked very diligently with us, particularly on exclusions. I cannot stress enough the positive impact this service has had, empowering our more vulnerable families by giving them a voice, the confidence to challenge unfair or harsh decisions, the self-assuredness to assert their rights, and a better understanding of the law.’
‘The team have supported a number of parents who required additional guidance following permanent exclusion of their children. She has encouraged attendance and participation of the young people and has also supported parents during the statutory assessment process. Ravinder is very committed to the families of the young people she has supported and has always been highly professional. We are truly grateful for her valuable support!’
‘I really struggled to negotiate the complicated pathway to obtaining an EHCP. I was close to giving up. Ravinder encouraged me to persist and supported me through the tribunal process. Without her input, my son would not be accessing any education. Although there’s still a long way to go, I feel confident that I can continue with the process now.’
‘The SEN provision available to our daughter would not enable her to reach her full potential. We were unsure how to do anything about it. It felt like that it would be an impossible task to change the EHCP to what we felt was needed. However, when we met Ravinder, we felt that it was something that we could take on. There was a lot to get our heads around, but Ravinder helped and guided us down the path – which, as novices, we had no idea about.
‘The impact has been massive because your expertise, experience and input has allowed me to address the issue of inequality and oppression between my client and the school. It allowed my client to feel less marginalised and empowered to fight against the forces that she felt were oppressing her. Simultaneously, my client felt that you were representing her views and helped her to feel more positive about her case, which has led to her engage in difficult conversations with a more collaborative attitude.
‘The support that you have provided to this family is second to none and as a service provider myself I am very grateful to you.’
‘Our appeal against our local authority would not have been won had Ravinder not been involved throughout the entire process… Challenging a local authority is fraught with [so many] processes and procedures that a layman is unlikely to be successful unless you have an expert with you. Ravinder provided the expertise and insights parents so desperately need in order to have their voice heard.’
‘The fact that parents are now challenging exclusions with expert backup has led to more and more schools in the borough exploring options other than permanent exclusion. Thank you for all your hard work.’
‘Thank you for taking time to speak to me about the representations to make to the Governors. Your advice empowered me to clearly set out my challenge against the school’s decision. You will be pleased to know that my efforts resulted in the Head teacher’s decision to be overturned by the Governors, something I understand is very rarely ever done. Thank you once again for your support and please keep up the good work.’
‘I feel very fortunate for the support that I have received form Ravinder and her team. My son, who was on the SEN register, was excluded from his primary school. Ravinder swiftly guided us through the labyrinth of School Policy and the next steps to take. As a lone parent, I would not have managed had Ravinder not been there, and this would have resulted in a damaging effect on my son’s emotional welfare.
‘Ravinder’s knowledge was first class and she was always quick to respond to any queries and concerns. The school meeting would have been very intimidating for me – there were four members of staff, including the head teacher and a school governor who excluded my son. Ravinder made sure that we had a successful outcome.
‘Thank you so much!’
‘I have been fighting to get my son the education he deserves for over a year. I really struggled to negotiate the complicated pathway to obtaining an EHCP. When my son was excluded from school I was close to giving up. Ravinder encouraged me to persist and supported me through the tribunal process. Without her input my son would not be accessing any education, and although there’s still a long way to go I feel confident that I can continue with the process now and get my son back into full time education.’