Best Practice

The new rules on school exclusions and appeals

Behaviour Legal advice
Schools and academies must adhere to new legislation over how they handle student exclusions and subsequent appeals. Legal expert Kevin Jaquiss explains the new procedures and offers advice to school leaders.

Exclusion has historically been the prerogative of individual schools and headteachers. However, since the late 1990s teachers have been pressured to consider the rights and interests of excluded individuals more carefully.  

Further legislation has just come into force that will have an impact on how schools, including academies, can tackle student exclusions. This is backed by the School Discipline (Student Exclusions and Reviews) (England) Regulations 2012, accompanied by new statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education.

As the name suggests, they put in place a new process of decision and review to replace the old process of decision and appeal.

The new process recognises that the school’s headteacher has the ultimate right to exclude a student permanently. This may be a daunting procedure to many, as you may feel that you hold the student’s future in your own hands, but as long as you carefully consider the challenges that come with permanent exclusion, the process should be less intimidating.

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