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The Trinity Handbook

Exclusion Policy

Exclusion Policy

Introduction

This policy is written with reference to the Trinity Catholic School Mission Statement:

"This Catholic School will seek to educate the whole person, academically, morally, socially and spiritually through the example of Jesus Christ and the witness of committed capable teachers". (Mission Statement)

In order to fulfil our Mission, good attendance and punctuality are vital. There is a clear correlation between good attendance and positive attitudes towards behaviour and willingness to learn. The school is committed to working with pupils, parents and other relevant bodies to ensure that attendance is closely monitored, reported and rewarded, where appropriate.

Purpose 

The purpose of this policy is to set out the approach that the Trinity School will take to the exclusion of pupils. This policy links to the school’s Behaviour Policy and Anti Bullying Policy and it takes account of the DfE Guide on Exclusion for Maintained Schools and Academies and pupil referral units in England (2012) 

Aims 

  •  To provide a framework for exclusions that is clear, fair, understood by pupils, parents/carers and staff and consistently applied. 
  •  To ensure that exclusions are only used as a last resort 

Roles & Responsibilities 

The Headteacher is responsible for ensuring the fair and consistent implementation of the policy and for all decisions on whether or not to exclude a pupil. The Headteacher may delegate to other senior leaders the arrangements for the support for pupils in danger of exclusion and for the reintegration of pupils returning to school after a fixed-term exclusion. The Governing Body is responsible for deciding whether or not to confirm the Headteacher’s decision to exclude a pupil. In the event of a parental appeal against a Governing Body decision to uphold a permanent exclusion, the school may draw on the services of a specialist company to undertake the independent appeals panel procedures. 

Implementation 

Exclusions, whether fixed-term or permanent, may be used in response to any of the following, all of which are examples of unacceptable conduct and breach the school’s Behaviour Policy: 

  • Physical assault against a pupil 
  • Physical assault against an adult 
  • Verbal abuse/threatening behaviour against a pupil 
  • Verbal abuse/threatening behaviour against an adult 
  • Bullying 
  • Racist abuse 
  • Sexual misconduct 
  • Drug and alcohol related 
  • Damage 
  • Theft 
  • Persistent disruptive behaviour 
  • Weapons related 

This is not an exhaustive list and there may be other situations where the Headteacher judges that exclusion is an appropriate sanction. On health and safety grounds allied to disrupting the learning of others, this includes deliberately tampering with safety equipment such as fire extinguishers or setting off a fire alarm. 

There are two main types of situation in which permanent exclusion may be considered. The first is where a pupil exhibits a build up of disruptive behaviours over time and continues to display persistent and defiant behaviour in spite of sanctions and the use of other strategies. 

In this respect it is a final, formal step in a concerted process for dealing with the disciplinary offences and adverse behaviours. The second is in the exceptional set of circumstances where, in the headteacher’s judgement, it is appropriate to permanently exclude a student for a first or ‘one off’ offence, regardless of previous disciplinary history. Where the school considers that a criminal offence may have taken place, it reserves the right to inform the Police and other agencies, as appropriate. In the event of a permanent exclusion, the Headteacher will work with the Local Authority and other agencies to ensure that suitable alternative provision is found for the pupil in question. 

Making a decision to exclude 

Before deciding whether to exclude a pupil, the Headteacher will: 

  1. Ensure that an appropriate investigation has been carried out 
  2. Consider all the evidence available to support the allegations 
  3. Allow the student to give his/her version of events 
  4. Look at the particular circumstances of each case. 

The Headteacher has to be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the pupil was responsible for the behaviour in question. 

In considering whether permanent exclusion is the most appropriate sanction, the Headteacher will consider: 

  1. The gravity of the incident, or series of incidents, and whether it constitutes a serious breach of the School's Behaviour Policy. 
  2. The effect that the student remaining in the school  would have on the education and welfare of other members of the school community. 

In line with its statutory duty, these same two tests of appropriateness will form the basis of the deliberations by the Governing Body when it meets to consider the Headteacher’s decision to exclude. The Governing Body will require the Headteacher to explain the reasons for the decision and will look at appropriate evidence such as the pupil’s school record, witness statements and the strategies used by the school to support the student prior to exclusion. 

Informing parents/carers 

Whenever a pupil is excluded the Headteacher, without delay, will notify parents/carers of the period of exclusion, the grounds for it and how they can make representations to the Governing Body 

Behaviour outside of the school 

Pupils who breach the school’s Behaviour Policy whilst on school related activities such as trips and journeys, sports fixtures or a work experience placement will be dealt with in the same manner as if the incident had taken place in school.  For incidents that take place outside the school and not during school related activities, this policy will still have effect if there is a clear link between that behaviour and maintaining good behaviour and discipline among the student body as a whole. This includes behaviour in the immediate vicinity of the school or on a journey to and from the school. 

The school will pay due regard to the guidance on pupils with statements of SEN, looked after children and those from groups with consistently higher than average rates of exclusions

Procedures

Fixed Term Exclusions 

  • This may be for up to 45 school days in any one year. 
  • You will receive a letter related to the exclusion, which should include: 
    • The type of exclusion 
    • The reason for exclusion 
    • The length of exclusion and the date of return 
    • An invitation to the parents to come to school to discuss the exclusion 
    • Details of how work will be provided 
    • Encouragement for the parent to bring a friend/support to any meeting 
  • A copy of the letter should be sent to the parents by first class post on the same day. 
  • The Nottingham City Council Notification of Exclusion form should be completed online on the same day 
  • Where the exclusion exceeds fifteen school days, a Governors’ disciplinary meeting will be held. 
  • The meeting to plan the child’s readmission would normally be conducted by a Head of House or a member of the school’s Senior Management Team, but may also involve staff who work with the child. 
  • Wherever practicable, work should be provided by the school for any child excluded for a fixed period. 
  • The student should complete any work supplied by the school and hand this to the relevant department/teacher. 
  • If an exclusion is for more than 5 days or would mean a child would miss a public exam or national curriculum test a parent/carer may ask the Governing Body to overturn the exclusion 
  • If the exclusion is for 5 days or fewer, the parent/carer can still ask the governors to hear their views but they cannot overturn the headteacher’s decision. 

Fixed Term Exclusion Meetings (Reintegration)

There are three possible outcomes from a reintegration meeting:

  1. The pupil is returned to school which may come with additional requirements, parents/pupil contract and/or restorative justice support.
  2. Extending the period of the Fixed Term Exclusion.
  3. Turning the Fixed Term Exclusion to a Permanent Exclusion. 

It is most desirable to return pupils to school and other options are used where this is not possible.

Parents are welcome to bring a supporter to the reintegration meeting. Pupils are expected to attend in full uniform. The meeting will usually be held with a member of the Senior Leadership Team and a Progress Coordinator. The Headteacher or a Governor may also be present. 

Post Exclusion Support

Following a Fixed Term Exclusion there is usually a period of time spent in Elim to complete a restorative justice pack. A pupil may be placed on report or on an achievement card to support positive behaviour moving forwards. A monitoring period will follow. Where appropriate, the use of external agencies to support pupils is explored if this has not already been put in place prior to exclusion. Where external agencies are already involved their use is reviewed. 

Permanent Exclusions 

Following a serious incident, the Headteacher may decide to issue a permanent exclusion. The following actions should then take place: 

  • The child should be given a letter to take home but with information that the parent(s) will be invited to attend a governors’ committee meeting when a date has been arranged. 
  • The parent, Local Education Officer, Chair of Governors and Chair of Pupils and Personnel Committee should be informed by first class post. 
  • The chair of the committee should convene a meeting to consider the exclusion and any representations made by parents within 15 days of the date of notification by the Headteacher, giving at least seven clear days written notice to governors. The meeting should be held during normal school hours wherever possible. 
  • The quorum for the meeting is three governors, none of whom may be the Headteacher or any individual involved in the incident leading to the exclusion. 

Permanent Exclusion Meetings

  1. Governors elect a chair prior to the start of the meeting and agree the procedure to be followed during the meeting. 
  2. At the start of the meeting, the chair of the committee should introduce all parties to each other, explaining to the parent that the purpose of the meeting is to enable both the governing body and the Local Authority to consider whether to uphold the Headteacher’s decision or to direct reinstatement, and to consider the parents’ representations. 
  3. The chairman of the committee meeting should also explain that if reinstatement is not agreed, the parent will have the right of appeal to an independent appeal committee. 
  4. The chairman of the committee should outline the procedure to be followed during the meeting. 
  5. The Headteacher should put forward the school’s case 
  6. The parent(s), child and supporter may ask the Headteacher about what is in the report or about what has been said. 
  7. Members of the committee may ask the Headteacher questions. 
  8. The Local Authority representative and any other Local Authority staff who may be invited (eg educational psychologist) may ask the Headteacher questions. 
  9. The parent(s), child and supporter put forward their views and comments to the committee and Local Authority representative. 
  10. The Headteacher may ask questions of the parent(s), child and supporter. 
  11. The committee may ask questions of the parent(s), child and supporter. 
  12. The Local Authority representative may ask questions of the parent(s), child and supporter. 
  13. The chairman draws attention to points that the governors’ committee will need to consider in determining their decision. 
  14. The Headteacher may request a brief adjournment to consider whether he/she wishes the child to be reinstated in the light of the representations made. 
  15. Summing up by the Headteacher. 
  16. Summing up by the parent(s) and/or supporter. 
  17. The parent(s), pupil, Headteacher and Local Authority representative, and anyone else not a member of the committee, withdraw to enable the committee to determine, with reasons, whether to uphold the decision or to direct reinstatement. 
  18. The Governors are satisfied after hearing the case, they then have to decide whether permanent exclusion was a reasonable response. They need to be clear about their reasons for confirming a permanent exclusion, and ensure that these reasons clearly derive from only the written and oral evidence they have heard in relation to the exclusion. 
  19. All the contents of the meeting should be minuted. 
  20. Parents will receive a formal letter from the secretary of the governors’ committee and from the Local Authority representative in due course, setting out their respective decisions, with reasons. 

Review

This policy was approved by the Local Governing Body in February 2017.

It is due to be reveiwed every 3 years in Febraury 2020.