1. What is a permanent exclusion (PEX)?
When a head teacher decides that a pupil's behaviour, over a period of time, or a one-off serious incident, is in breach of the school’s behaviour policy and if he/she remains in the school it would seriously harm the education or welfare of others in the school. Permanent exclusion should only be used as a last resort when all other options have been exhausted and where reasonable adjustments have been taken to meet a pupil’s educational and wider needs
2. Do I as a parent / carer have any say in the matter?
The governors of the school must meet within 15 school days of the head's decision to consider whether they agree. Parent / carers have the right to go to this meeting and "make representations", i.e. tell the governors their views and those of their child. This is important if you feel that the school has not offered your child adequate support around their behaviour and / or their Special Educational Needs or not treated him / her fairly.
3. What happens at the governors' meeting?
The governors will listen carefully to all information presented and will decide either to uphold the exclusion or overturn it.
4. If they uphold it the decision to exclude, what happens to my child's education?
The Local Authority will work with you to find another school. An Exclusion & Reintegration Officer will talk with you about this, if your child has an Education Health & Care Plan, a SEN Officer will also be involved. In some circumstances it may not be practicable or beneficial to return to mainstream learning and your child may be offered an alternative style of education through a mainstream school or be offered a place at Meadowbrook College.
5. What happens to my child's education in the meantime before the governors meet?
For Days one - five inclusive, the school will set work to be done at home. You as a parent / carer are responsible for keeping her/him out of public places during school time. If he / she is found in a public place, you may be liable to a penalty notice and a fine.
From Day six the Local Authority will provide the equivalent of full time education for your child through Meadowbrook College. An exclusion and reintegration officer will discuss this with you.
6. What can I do if the governors uphold the exclusion and I disagree?
You have the right to request an Independent Review Panel (IRP) looks at the governors’ decision. As the name suggests the people on the panel will have no connection with the school. You will be given details of how to request a review in your letter from the governors confirming the exclusion. Please take careful note of the time limit (15 school days after you receive the letter, taken as two days after it was posted) as once this date has passed you lose your right to review.
7. Can I bring a friend or supporter to the governor meeting or the Independent Review?
You can bring a friend or supporter who may speak for you if you do not want to do so yourself, or can just be there to give you support.
8. Can my child attend either of the meetings?
Schools should always allow your child to attend and to speak if he / she is old enough and able to do so. Students over the age of 18 have the right to represent themselves.
9. If the exclusion is upheld how do I find another school?
The Local Authority Officer will discuss this with you and will identify a new school. You can express a preference for a particular school but a place there cannot be guaranteed. The Local Authority operates a "fair share" system of allocating school places to permanently excluded pupils. The Exclusion & Reintegration Officer will discuss this process with you.
10. What happens if my child has to travel a distance to the new school?
If it is the school allocated by the Local Authority and the distance makes it appropriate, the Local Authority will pay for transport, usually a bus pass. If the school is one you chose outside the Local Authority's fair share arrangements, you will be responsible for getting your child to and from the school.
11. How long will it take to get my child a new school?
The Local Authority will try to do this as quickly as possible. Generally it takes about four - eight weeks, but that will depend on when the governors' committee and any IAP can meet.
12. Is there someone at the Local Authority I can talk to about the exclusion?
You are welcome to discuss it with an exclusion and reintegration officer or if your child has an EHCP – a SEN officer. The letter from the school should include all relevant contact details.
13. Is there anyone else who might give me advice?
If your child has special educational needs, you may wish to seek assistance from SENDIASS by contacting them. You could also contact ACE (Advisory Centre for Education) exclusions helpline or The Children’s Legal Centre.
14. My child has special educational needs (SEN), does that make a difference to how the school deals with excluding them?
Exclusions should be the last resort for a pupil with SEN. If the child has an EHCP or Statement of SEN, an emergency annual review should be held if the school is concerned about the pupil’s future at the school before considering a permanent exclusion. Under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) disabled children should not be excluded for reasons connected to their disability. E.g. a pupil with Tourette's Syndrome should not be excluded for swearing. Advice and guidance.
15. Can I get help in managing my child's behaviour?
If you feel that the relationship between you and your child is breaking down, and that you are losing control over him or her, the Oxfordshire Parent-Talk programme can give you support with your parenting and some fresh ideas for dealing with challenging behaviour. You can ask a GP, health visitor, school or social services to refer you to Parent-Talk. Once Parent-Talk receives the referral, someone will ring you and you can discuss your child's behaviour with them.