Extract taken from Stoke-on-Trent City Council website
How will I know that my child has been excluded?
The Headteacher will in the first instance contact you to tell you of his/her decision. The Headteacher will then write to you explaining why your child has been excluded, and if/when your child should return to school. If there is anything you do not understand or wish to discuss further, you should contact the school to talk about your concerns.
As well as giving a full explanation of the reasons why your child was excluded, the letter you receive from the school should also tell you how you can put forward your own views to the governing body of the school. If you do not receive this information, you should contact the Headteacher immediately to ask for it. You may find it helpful to keep copies of all the letters you send and receive.
What is a Fixed Term Exclusion?
A fixed term exclusion is usually a Headteacher's response to a serious incident of misbehaviour. The exclusion could be for half a day, to, in extreme cases, 45 days within a school year. The average fixed term exclusion, however, is around 3 school days. A number of fixed term exclusions could mean that your child is having difficulties in school and this could lead to a permanent exclusion. If this is the case, you may be invited to discuss your child's behaviour with the Headteacher. Your cooperation is most important in working with the school to support any strategies which may be suggested to help your child. Schools may issue lunchtime exclusions equivalent to half a school day for short periods only. Arrangements would be made for pupils who qualify for free school meals.
Fixed Term Exclusion - what happens next?
Although the Headteacher has excluded your child, the Governors' disciplinary committee must meet to consider exclusions totaling over 15 days in one term and where the exclusions total over 5 days in one term and parents request a governors meeting. Governors consideration must also be made if the exclusion prevents your child taking a public examination. There are time-limits on this procedure. The committee will consider any representations made by the parents and, as a result, decide that your child should be reinstated. A note of the disciplinary committee's views on the exclusion will normally be placed on your child's record.
For fixed term exclusions that total 5 days or less in one term, parents may make representations to the Governors but they do not have the power to reinstate the child.
What is a Permanent Exclusion?
A permanent exclusion is the most serious type of exclusion and schools only exclude pupils permanently following extreme misbehaviour. This could be single incident, or a series of events, during the course of which, you may have been invited to the school to discuss your child's behaviour. If your child is permanently excluded, s/he must not attempt to enter the school premises without an appointment.
Permanent Exclusion - What happens next?
Although the Headteacher has excluded your child, the governing body of the school has to meet to decide whether to confirm the exclusion or whether to overturn the Headteacher's decision. You will be invited to attend this meeting and you are strongly advised to do so.
What rights do I have?
You have the right to 'make representations' (i.e. to present your case') at this meeting. You can take someone with you, to support you - a partner, friend, member of the family or a support worker - if you wish. You should tell the school whether you intend to be present.
For the first 5 days of the exclusion the school is obliged to make work available for your child. Parents should contact the school to make arrangements to collect the work and it should be returned to the school to be marked. From the 6th day of the exclusion alternative education provision will be made. You will be contacted with details about this.
Can my child attend the hearing?
Yes. If your child wishes to attend, s/he may put their case to the committee. However, it is the parents who have the right to state their case against the exclusion, not the child.
What Happens at the Discipline Committee's meeting?
The committee will listen to all parties involved before deciding whether to support the Headteacher's decision to exclude or not. An officer from the city council may be present at the meeting to offer the city council's view on the appropriateness of the exclusion.