Fixed term exclusions, permanent exclusions and part-time timetables
We must ensure as a directorate we are all aware of those children who are at risk, our responsibilities and that we adhere to practices that are open and transparent to protect not only the child but our services. As a directorate we need to be giving clear advice, be extremely vigilant and ensure we keep each other informed of any cases we become aware of. It is also vital that directorate teams verify with each other that processes are in place rather than accepting information supplied by parents/schools. All teams need to be aware of the safeguarding issues around exclusions so anyone involved should feel able to approach other teams / agencies for support /advice. Sometimes legal requirements are still not enough to ensure a child is safeguarded.
The Education Welfare Service send a letter to all Head teachers advising that there should be no fixed term exclusions without 6th day provision already being identified. All schools have also been asked to provide the Local Authority with their 6th day arrangements. It should be noted that LAC children must have 1st day provision.
Each month the Exclusion and Reintegration Team will carry out a trawl of all fixed term exclusions to raise an alert regarding any pupils who may be at risk of permanent exclusion.
Access and Entitlement Admin who enter fixed term exclusions onto the ONE system are alerting the Exclusions and Reintegration team of any significant exclusions; i.e. those of more than 5 days, either as a one-off exclusion or total of shorter exclusions. These will be notified to all teams within the directorate.
For those pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Needs, the SEN Team and Exclusion and Reintegration Team will work together to challenge and prevent the practice of excluding statemented children.
All members of the directorate should be challenging schools, asking them how THEY are managing their safeguarding responsibilities and that safeguarding can be an Ofsted limiting judgement. The school should ensure that its policies are being followed and the governing body should ensure they are meeting their statutory duties. Part time timetables, and risk of exclusion will become a standard agenda item for Inclusion Partnership Meetings.
There needs to be a clear action plan, detailing the support / intervention to be put in place for a child’s return to school. This should have agreed timescales, actions and someone to act as liaison between family and school.
During the exclusion period school should be contact with parents to explore the reasons behind the behaviour that lead to the exclusion, particularly if this is a change from normal behaviour patterns.
The child will return at the end of a fixed term exclusion. The behaviour that prompted the exclusion may be modified. If it has not, a further fixed term exclusion could be considered.
Where a Change of Placement process has been started by the SEN Team, it should not be used as an excuse for running consecutive exclusions as it leaves the child in limbo. Where change of placement is as a result in an extreme change of behaviour the paperwork will go to the first SEN Panel regardless of the number already to be heard.
Consecutive fixed term exclusions should not occur. In the unlikely situation this does occur the school must not only send work home for the child but make arrangements to actually see them. This could be done as a joint visit with another service, or the child could come with the parents to collect work at the school.
Modified (part time) timetables should only be considered in extreme circumstances and should be monitored closely, ensuring that there is a clear action plan, detailing the support / intervention to be put in place for the child’s return to school. This should have agreed timescales, actions and someone to act as liaison between family and school.
If a child is permanently excluded they will be offered a place at the Welcome Centre, where the exclusion has been because of the child’s behaviour, or New Leaf Centre. Referrals to the Welcome Centre can only be approved via the Access Manager and will only be considered once all other avenues have been exhausted. If parents refuse this option it will be an EWO issue. Statement children should only be permanently excluded in the most extreme circumstances. Where this option is being considered there should have been involvement of the Educational Psychologist and “one incident” should not result in permanent exclusion.