Exclusion letters(16 Posts)
What is the position if my child was temporarily excluded on three occasions without a formal letter being issued? They were not just 'sent home' exclusions (although they also occurred) but actual 2.5 day and 1 day events but not ever confirmed by letter. Can these be considered not to have actually happened if the correct process was not followed?
Unless the school (assuming it is a state school and not an independent fee paying school) have confirmed in writing the exclusion, they are going to have a hard time proving that it happened at any governor or independent review panel meeting.
However I think you need to start checking things out. Could the exclusions letters have been sent home with your child and "pupil post" failed because they destroyed them? Secondly is it possible that the letters have gone to a different postal address or email address?
If those ideas have been exhausted then I suggest that you contact the head teacher of the school in writing and ask them to explain the situation regarding your child - don't mention exclusion letters just ask for an explanation. If they come back talking about exclusions then I would write back to them saying that as the school has failed under paragraph 27 of the exclusion guidance, September 2017, to formally inform, without delay, you as parent of the reasons and period of the exclusion that you consider the exclusions not to have happened. Then see what they do.
Thanks for this Admission - I will take your advice and see what they say.
I don't know why but it never occurred to me. He had been sent home 'informally' before which I know is unlawful but when he was sent home formally I had someone not realised to fulfil the rules that the school needed to write to us. There is now a discussion over why he was sent home for one of the incidents which is why this has come to light as other then what the Head told me there was nothing provided. Is the fact he told us verbally not sufficient?
By the way nothing went astray in the bag (as far as I can ascertain) as we know this is a great way to 'lose' things but not been a problem generally..............H
Is the fact he told us verbally not sufficient
No. The guidance is clear that the head must provide you with information about the exclusion in writing.
It has to be written.
Agree with calling up fot a chat. It could have got post with pupil postal services (aka disappeared) but then no school I've worked in would send an exclusoon letter home that way. It's far too risky from the school's point of view if it doesn't get home.
I would check your email details on the system too as many schools have shifted to parentpay/mail/other communication options instead of posted letters
There should be a record somewhere, at the very least because if the school get to the point of needing access to a PRU/EOTAS/Managed move/permanent exclusoon then each fixed term exclusoon acts as supporting evidence. It would make no sense for a school not to have a paper trail.
Thanks for your comments - really useful.
This could impact on a permanent exclusion situation but not sure how much.
Would the failure to notify correctly mean that these incidents did not happen in the legal sense?
There are other significant failings by the school over and above this - this is not an attempt to look for a 'loophole' but more to try and show that the approach by the school has been very poorly handled
There are two main reasons for a permanent exclusion. The first is for a severe one off incident and the second is for persistent disruptive behaviour. The issues you have would not affect the former but could have a material affect on the school deciding on the latter if they do not carry out an effective investigation before the head teacher makes the final decision to permanently exclude.
The fact that there is no written letter is a technical failure in the required system. If there are a succession of fixed term exclusions, which do have exclusion letters and then the school decide to permanently exclude for persistent disruptive behaviour then a single letter being missing would not affect the outcome at appeals. If there was no trail of written exclusions at all then in my opinion I cannot see how a panel can say that the process has been fair and reasonable, no matter you might have been told verbally.
It is not acceptable to use "pupil post" for an exclusion letter. I would expect a parent to be asked to collect an excluded child from school and to be given the letter or it goes in the post (recorded delivery) immediately it is prepared. Or it can be delivered by a member of staff ot the home address.
If the parents have not been informed of any exclusion, then legal exclusions did not happen so cannot be added together to form a permanent exclusion inmy view. I agree that if there are fixed term exclusions, with letters that you have received, but one is missing, then that is different. However, it is a failure not to ensure the letter reaches the parent and "pupil post" is not considered good enough by many panels. The school have not ensured the parent is informed of the exclusion and they have a duty to do that.
Thanks all - I have asked the school for copies of the letters and will then see what they have to say about why they were not provided previously.
I do believe that a formal letter outlining reasons and suggesting routes for help may have caused us to take different action at the time.
I will post further when we hear
Had letters for two fixed exclusions. Am writing to chairman of governors to challenge
12 year old boy. Fighting at school. Getting worse. Head not much use. Permanent exclusion being talked about. Had plenty of letters so school obviously covering its back
Things moving on our end and getting difficult to get details of what has gone on in incidents from school suggest you make sure that they give you chapter and verse of what has taken place, witnesses and your lads version of events as starting to look like the school has just decided any incident was my boys fault and everyone seems happy to take the Head Teachers word for it!
Appreciated. Will take this further. Boy isnt getting input he needs here. May end up moving him. A few people in the same situation
Incidents in school must be investigated and reported internally. It is good practice to talk to parents and see how behavoir can be improved by workig together.
If there is a short term exclusion which results from any incident, then it must be recorded in an official letter to you. Verbally given to the child is not good enough. A letter must be received by you. It is not acceptable for them to say you or your child were "informed". If they have not followed what is required, you have grounds to say these were not official exclusions and do not add up to a permanent exclusion.
I have not looked recently , but lots of LAs used to give template letters to schools about exclusions and give them chapter and verse about what to do. This is make sure they stick, of course. Can you find any guidance on the documentation provided by your LA? Then you can challenge effectively. A MAT cannot do anything differently.
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