This guidance provides guidance on exclusions and appeal procedures from both mainstream schools and Pupil Referral Units and steps to take to maintain the education of excluded pupils. This guidance covers the exclusion of learners from schools and pupil referral units; the procedures for appealing against an exclusion and steps to take to maintain the education of excluded learners.
This guidance replaces Circular 1(A)/2004.
Amendments to the guidance
A new section setting out what constitutes an unlawful exclusion. Where unlawful exclusions take place the school is not meeting its legal duties of care, safeguarding or providing suitable education through sending work home or arranging alternative provision for the length of the exclusion.
45 day fixed term exclusion limit
Clarification of the 45 day fixed term exclusion limit within the regulations. The common misconception is that once a pupil reaches 45 days of fixed term exclusion within a school year they are permanently excluded. This is not the case and the 45 day ‘limit’ was placed in regulations to avoid ineffective use of fixed term exclusions.
The section on the length of fixed term exclusions has been extended to set out the reason for the 45 day limit. It also introduces a new recommendation that a discipline committee meets when a pupil reaches 25-30 days of fixed term exclusions within a school year to provide an additional safeguard against a pupil accruing 45 days and another opportunity to assess any support plans in place for the pupil.
The Education (Reintegration Interview) (Wales) Regulations came into force on 5 January 2011. This legislation puts in place a requirement for head teachers to request a parent to attend a reintegration interview following a period of fixed-term exclusion. A new section has been added providing advice on the processes for reintegration interviews for head teachers and parents.
The previous guidance contained two sections, disabled pupils and race relations. These sections have been removed and replaced with a new section regarding the Equality Act 2010 which has consolidated and replaced previous discrimination legislation. The new section sets out the definitions of discrimination, public sector equality duty and specifically in relation to exclusions.
Behaviour policies and behaviour outside of school
New guidance on the behaviour policy that schools must have in place and behaviour outside of school which coincide with guidance provided in Section 3 of Inclusion and Pupil Support guidance (Circular 47/2006).
Removal of pupils on medical grounds and in exceptional circumstances
Both sections have been taken from Inclusion and Pupil Support guidance (Circular 47/2006) to provide further clarity on when pupils can be removed from a school site but not classed as an official exclusion.
Occasionally appeal panels will consider more than one appeal against a permanent exclusion if the exclusions took place as a result of the same incident. This amendment provides more detail on conducting combined appeals.
Role of the head teacher
Addition of new paragraphs which clarify how a head teacher records an exclusion depending on the time of day an exclusion is made, head teachers’ role in reintegration interviews and the correct attendance code to be applied to excluded pupils.