Exclusion, Permanent And Temporary

Exclusion from School/UK

There are two types of exclusion, temporary and permanent.  A temporary exclusion used to be called being suspended and has been around for years as a sanction.  Permanent exclusion has also been around for years and used to be known as being expelled.  Permanent exclusion takes place in some countries but not all.  In some countries they do not have the possibility to permanently exclude.

In the UK, topermanently exclude a child the offence must be very serious indeed and basically be violent in nature, with the expectation that it will be repeated.  Thus a mild mannered child who beats up a boy stealing his bike should not be permanently excluded.  Nor should thechild in who worked around the net nanny software on the school network, gleaned a naughty picture from the net and e-mailed it to the entire school.  A Saturday morning detention would likely be far better for both the child and the school.

Essentially, the Head Teacher decides that the child is in need of being permanently excluded and the parents are informed.  They are given a number of days to appeal to the governors.   It is at this point that you should seek advice as it offers the opportunity to get the exclusion overturned quickly and simply.   You can employ someone to represent your child at this hearing; it may be money well spent. 

If the governors uphold the Head's decision then your child is out.  You can then appeal to the appeals tribunal.  This is a serious move and they will be looking to see if the governors acted properly.  Findings at this stage were often in favour of the child, and thus the child would be reinstated back into the school.  This infuriated the Heads', the governors have now put restrictions on the types of offence that can be taken to tribunal and the type that can't.  So now a violent offence is not in their remit whereas our naughty boy and his masse-mailing of naughty pictureswould get a hearing, the boy defending his bike from a thief would not. 

There is talk about governors not being a fair and impartial tribunal, and that it was an infringement on our human rights etc.  Judgements will surely come from our own and European courts, but not for a while yet.

Once your child is out of school s/he is supposed to attend some form of schooling usually in a pupil referral unit.  These units obviously contain all the children who have been permanently excluded plus other children who are there for various reasons, usually linked to behaviour.  Like anything in life there are good units and bad units.  It must be said that it is extraordinarily difficult to run one of these units well.  It will depend upon your LEA as to how easy it is to get your child back into mainstream.  Some have more influence/control over their schools than others.  Some have schools that are full to bursting already.  It can take months, even years.  This is why it is better to fight at the initial hearing run by the governors.