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My child has been excluded from their Academy school. What action can I take?

My child has been excluded from their Academy school. What action can I take?

If your child has been excluded from an academy school, although you cannot force the school to take your child back, you do have the right to appeal. Also, if your son or daughter has been accused of some kind of misconduct that you feel is unfair, you may wish to appeal in order to clear their name, even if you don't want to have them reinstated in the school. There are two categories of exclusion – fixed period exclusion and permanent exclusion. Let’s take a quick look at the implications of both

Fixed Period Exclusion

This is when a child is temporarily excluded from the academy school and over the course of a school year a child can be removed for up to 45 school days. During the first 5 days of exclusion the school should set and mark work but if the exclusion is for longer than 5 days then it is the school’s responsibility to arrange full-time education from the 6th day onwards. Another important point to consider is that during the first 5 days of exclusion, it is the parents’ responsibility to make sure that their child isn’t found in a public place during normal school hours or the parents may potentially face prosecution.

Permanent exclusion

Permanent exclusion effectively means your child is expelled and not allowed back into the academy school. The local council however do have an obligation to arrange full-time education from the 6th school day of exclusion. The process works slightly different depending on whether the exclusion is fixed or permanent. For fixed period exclusions you should contact the school if your child hasn’t been offered alternative education after the 5th day of exclusion and for permanent exclusions you need to contact the local council. It is your responsibility to ensure that your child attends any alternative education that has been arranged.

Why your child might be excluded

Your child might be excluded from an academy for a large variety of discipline-related reasons, but most of them can be boiled down to one of the following two categories:

  • the academy believe that your child is a disruptive influence on order and discipline within the institution, and/or on the education of other pupils
  • they believe that you, as parents, have knowingly permitted your child to break the rules of the school

On exclusion, you should be informed which of these applies to your child.

What happens to your child following exclusion?

You will be contacted by the school as soon as possible - at the very latest on the day that your child is excluded - and they will then explain to you the exact circumstances of your child's exclusion. They will also arrange a meeting to further discuss the situation. This meeting has to take place within one week of the exclusion, after which the school will write to you with details of:

  • the specific reason that your child has been excluded
  • all the conditions that must be in place if your child is to return to school - ordinarily, you, your child or most commonly both of you, will be asked to sign an agreement before being allowed to return
  • how to make an official appeal if you feel that the school's decision to exclude your child is not fair

It is the legal right of your child to have an education, even if they have been excluded, so in the event of an exclusion, the Local Authority must arrange alternative education.

The appeal process

In the first instance, you should write to the school governor informing him or her that you wish to appeal. You will then be offered a date for the hearing. Preparing properly for your hearing is of the utmost importance and you must:

  • read the guidelines thoroughly, making sure you stick to them to the letter
  • gather all evidence and anything that might support your case

If your appeal is refused, you then have 15 days to take your grievance to an independent appeals panel, who must hear your appeal within a further 15 days of its receipt. If this panel confirms your child's exclusion, the Local Authority must find a place at another school for your child, or provide an alternative education outside of school.

The appeal process will be slightly different depending on whether the exclusion is for a fixed period or permanent. Match Solicitors are experts at dealing with such appeals and have a dedicated team of education lawyers who can help support and guide you through the appeal process. If your child has been suspended or excluded and you're not sure what to do next, give us a call today to discuss your child's case in confidence.

 



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Testimonials

I felt listened to and at my initial consultation I was given an honest objective opinion. Would be happy to recommend to others who find themselves at odds with their University.

Mr K Parmar, Middlesex

The service received from Match Solicitors was faultless; highly professional and efficient. The advice received was extremely sound and sensible. The service was fairly priced.

Mr Moore, Kent

We were very happy to hand over our case to Match Solicitors and allow them to do what they do best - they won our appeal. They make no guarantees but at least you know, whether you win or lose, they have done their best for your child.

Mr & Mrs O'Dea, Surrey