If your child is being excluded for fixed periods, it is important to keep an accurate record. It may help show patterns of behaviour, or highlight the trigger to certain behaviours. For example, is it in a particular subject, with a particular member of staff or at a particular time when the difficulties occur?
Having an idea of this may help in the planning and review of your child’s progress and support needs at school. It will certainly help you get a clearer picture of your child’s exclusions and be useful for your child’s next termly or annual review or when attending meetings with your child’s school. If you know what is going wrong and when, it is easier to make changes to help avoid it happening again.
Children with special educational needs (SEN) are eight times more likely than their peers to be permanently excluded from school. Advice for parents of children with special educational needs is available from SENDIASS (formerly Parent Partnership).
There are many things that can and should be tried before a permanent exclusion happens. One thing that may help prevent things escalating to a permanent exclusion is if you can show the difficulties your child is experiencing early on. Keeping good records of when and how they are being excluded can give a clearer picture of what is happening and show they need additional support.
Things to record
- Date of the exclusion
- How has school recorded this exclusion e.g. internal / lunchtime / fixed term / permanent?
- How were you informed about this exclusion e.g. phone / letter / other?
- Date / time you were contacted
- Has your child been invited to give a written account of their version of events? If not, you could encourage him/her to write one and forward this to the school
- Name / role of the member of staff who contacted you
- What was said or written to explain the reason for the exclusion? If you are in any doubt you can check with the school what the reason was
- If it was an internal exclusion, was your child given any work to do?
- Have you been asked to take your child away from school without them been excluded? If so, when?
Questions to ask
- If it was a fixed-term exclusion, was work sent home for the first five days for your child to complete and was it marked?
- When did they start to receive full-time educational provision?
- If the exclusion is over 15 days in any one old term or is permanent, have you been invited to a governors hearing to discuss the exclusion? You should receive a pack of papers relating to the exclusion a few days before the meeting
- If it was a permanent exclusion - was work sent home for the first five days for your child to complete and was it marked?
- When did they start to receive full-time education provision? If they only received part-time education, how many hours did they receive?