Once you have received the decision letter of the Governor Disciplinary Committee you will have 15 school days to make an application for an Independent Review. The letter will include contact details of where to apply.
If you think that your child’s special educational needs (SEN) have not properly been taken into account or the Governors’ meeting was unfair in any way you should consider applying for a review.
Things to be aware of:
- An Independent Review Panel (IRP) has no power to reinstate your child in the school that excluded them.
- You may have the decision of Governors reviewed by an IRP even if you do not want your son/daughter to return the school / Academy / PRU.
- You can apply for a review even if you did not make a case to, or attend, the meeting at which the Governing Body considered your child’s permanent exclusion.
- An Independent Panel of three people who have no connections with the school will hear your case and make a decision to either:
- uphold the exclusion decision made by governors;
- recommend that the governing body reconsiders their decision, or
- quash the decision and direct that the governing body considers the exclusion again.
You have the right to have a special educational needs expert present at the review, whether or not the school recognises that your child has special educational needs.
The SEN expert’s role is to provide impartial advice to the panel about how SEN could be relevant to the exclusion; for example, whether the school acted reasonably in relation to its legal duties when excluding the pupil. If you would like an SEN expert to attend the Review, you will need to request this when you make your application.
You also have the right to request a representative of the local authority attends the review. You may have had a representative of the local authority at the governor disciplinary committee hearing from the exclusion and reintegration team.
Where possible, the same officer would make themselves available to attend an Independent Review. If you would like an exclusion and reintegration officer to attend the Review, you will need to request this when you make your application.
The independent review panel’s decision is binding on the
- governing body
- head teacher
- local authority
- and (in the case of an Academy) Academy Trust.
Where a panel directs a governing body to reconsider an exclusion and the governing body do not offer to reinstate the pupil within 10 school days, the IRP will order that a readjustment of the school’s budget must be made or (in the case of an Academy) that the school must make an equivalent payment to the local authority of £4,000 in addition to any funding that would normally follow an excluded pupil.
This guidance explains how the IRP process works and will help you to prepare for a hearing:
- Guidance to help parents decide if they wish to appeal (pdf format, 79 KB)
- Guidance to prepare for appeal hearing (pdf format, 139KB)
You may wish to discuss the IRP process with your area exclusion and reintegration officer.