Best Practice

School exclusions and the SEN expert

Behaviour Legal advice
Independent SEN experts are playing an increasingly common role in exclusion processes. Legal expert Richard Wilkins explains more.

As with its predecessor of 2009, the 2012 Exclusions Code emphasises the need for schools to have regard to SEN when making a decision to exclude. 

Where the SEN concerned is a disability, “reasonable adjustments” will be required to avoid a possible claim for disability discrimination. A later article will consider how best to do this. Here I consider the role of a new player in the exclusion process, the independent SEN expert.

Unless handled carefully, this risks complicating a permanent exclusion at the final stage, when it is being considered by an Independent Review Panel (IRP) following approval by the governors’ discipline committee.

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