Temporary exclusion and threatened permanent exclusion(194 Posts)
I have a resolution meeting at the school in the New Year. Son (15) was caught with cannabis in school and excluded. They have also threatened to permanently exclude him.
Has anyone been to an "resolution meeting", what should I expect, and how can I best prepare?
Bad news - Schools tends to have a zero tolerance policy on drugs. Your son is likely to end up permanently excluded.
There was a very recent similar thread with great advice given about the legalities of providing education and the due processes that must be gone through. Link below.
I would start by what does your son have to say for himself?
Next do not voluntarily withdraw him from the school, unless you have negotiated a very good deal (tuition for exams and free entry and somewhere to sit the exams, including course work/orals).
Cheers. I found the link to the other thread just after I posted that.
I have of course spoken to him,he is a sorry little bunny, but horse, stable, bolted. Right now I'm more interested in the resolution meeting and how I should handle it.
I think the expulsion threat isn't credible (my local authority hasn't expelled anyone in over a decade and I don't believe this is the worst thing that has happened), but even if they dont formally expel him, they can make his life there uncomfortable enough for him to want to leave.
He is doing Nat 5s this year, Highers next year, so still another 18 months minimum to go. Changing schools might be a possibility, but I'd rather work with the school if possible to resolve it.
I think you're clutching at straws if you think the expulsion threat isn't credible...
I think you're minimising, " a sorry little bunny"? 🙄 He's not five. He had drugs, at school. And schools do tend to have a zero tolerance policy to drugs. Whether they expel or not you need to be prepared for worst case and not just assume it's not credible as it very well may be. I'm fact it probably is.
Lots of schools have zero tolerance on selling drugs. They may have a different attitude to possession of drugs. This is what you need to negotiate on to avoid a permanent exclusion. Also, schools exclude, local authorities do not. So you would not know what schools are doing and you would not know about managed moves either.
He, and you, also need to grow up, quickly. I would be worried abut your "sorry little bunny" comment too because it gives the impression that he can do no wrong and is a baby. He needs to assure the school he is not doing drugs. I would imagine he is, so you both have work to do if he wants to stay there. He will have to really mean what he says and stay off the drugs. If you can get them to keep him, you will have to abide by their rules, but be clear he did not attempt to sell drugs. Negotiate the best you can but do not go in and expect an easy ride. You may have to plead for him and you will really have to get him to understand that this is his last chance.
The school will not resolve his drug habit. They may watch him like a hawk. He has brought it on himslef so he will have to deal with the consequences in school. If he does not like it, then yes, he will have to leave. But nowhere will tolerate drugs on their premises. So, he needs to grow up and behave. If he cannot, then finding another school will be tough. They may be able to negotiate a managed move. However, any new school will not be too accommodating either.
I am always at a loss to understand why children are so stupid as to take drugs onto school premises. I think he is more of an unintelligent thick bunny personally. There are weekends and evenings for smoking, if you are happy to stick your head in the sand. Both of you seem very laid back about it, so maybe a bit of tough love would come in handy, for both of you.
Please remember that they do NOT have to allow him to sit his Highers; I understand that this would be desirable for you and him however S5 is not compulsory education and the school would be within their rights to refuse to let him start S5. I think you are being naive when you say that the threat of permanent exclusion is not serious.
There may be the option of doing Highers at a further education college if they let him stay for Nat 5s but not for 5th year onwards
I'm in Scotland, it is local authorities which decide if a pupil is excluded from a school up here, not schools themselves.
School seems to be where he has access to it, with another pupil selling individual joints. I havent picked up on him smoking (anything) at weekends or evenings. I'm quite concerned to hear of the smoking in general tho, given that he has severe asthma. To be honest, outwith the immediate issue with school, my primary fear is nicotine addiction, rather than the cannabis per se, but yes, smoking in school is stupid and he knows that.
I have to say I'm a bit taken aback by the reaction.
The local authority has a duty to educate to 18. Not allowing him back for Highers would mean they had excluded him.
What was he doing with the cannabis? Was he selling it or had he bought it from another student?
The hows and whys are likely to make a difference here.
Your son may need to commit to seeing a drugs counsellor from the likes of DAPL and follow a management plan for a while.
They don't need to let him return for S5 unless he is under 16 on the 30th September 2017 in which case they may facilitate a transfer to a different school.
From my experience if this is the first time he has put his head above the parapet and WAS NOT SELLING then he could maybe expect close monitoring and then things will move on ok as long a step he keeps his nose clean.
Have the police become involved? They might have a role in his resolution actually - we have done it in the cases of kids buying small amounts then flashing it like hard cases. Community police have a word and support us and family in monitoring groups of pupils.
Sorry, I cross posted. Also, my post is a bit of a muddle so I am not sure it makes sense.
I would want to know where he bought it from and would expect him to be fully cooporative. The person selling will be given their marching orders (given access to sit exams and supported to their next destination is what that actually means in Scotland).
Actual permenant exclusion in Scotland is extremely rare and as op says although school is not compulsory until 18, we have a responsibility to ensure that the young person is in a positive destination- or at least has been offered one.
Are you really surprised? The "sorry little bunny" thing was really irritating tbh
I think when you go in to the school you need to show that you take this just as seriously as they do. If you go in with the attitude that he's just like a 5yo who won't share nicely you'll hit a brick wall I think.
You need to show what you are putting in place at home. That he has strategies for avoiding this kind of stuff again. That you consider it a serious zero tolerance matter.
Instead you seem to be going in with the "how can I catch the school out on a technicality" attitude. And that rarely goes down well in my experience
I'm really not sure where you are getting the idea that the local authority has a responsibility to educate him to 18 - that is most definitely not the case! There is an expectation that leavers have a positive destination but I can assure you that post 16 we can (and do) ask students to leave should they fail to adhere to standard behavioural expectations. I think you need to check your information.
It's also worrying that you seem to be taking (or encouraging your son to take) very little responsibility for his (seriously unacceptable) behaviour. Frankly you are coming across as entitled.
I think other parents will be appalled if your son is allowed back, tbh.
Is his exclusion public knowledge?
If yes, then they will probably exclude him?
Both of the lawyers I've consulted have told me that they cannot remove him from the register without a formal exclusion process until he is 18. However if he voluntarily leaves after 16, they have no obligation to readmit him to that school or any other.
He bought it ready rolled from another pupil, he and others shared it. Teachers spotted them, police were called, all of the group were searched, he had the remainder of the joint that had been stubbed out in his pocket.
The question I'm really asking tho, is what to expect from the resolution meeting and how best to handle it.
I'm not going to comment any further. I'm afraid your attitude is clearly not geared to dealing with the fact that your child is engaged in using drugs and more geared towards "prove the school wrong". I'm not at all convinced by the depth of understanding provided by your lawyers.
Not with the attitude you have!
If you go in saying "I've consulted lawyers and you can't exclude him on this technicality" you are likely to find it tough
If you go in saying you take this as seriously as them, that you have signed your DS onto some counselling programme, taken advice from the police on how to nip this in the bud, that he is genuinely remorseful and will not be repeat offending, you might get somewhere.
Go in with all guns blazing and a "you can't do that"! attitude, all lawyered up, and, if I were the HT, I'd dig my heels in
Without actually working in your school I can only presume but it may go like:
An overview of what happened with agreement from all that the facts are correct.
Discussion of the severity of the action and why this had to result in a temporary exclusion from the school.
Agreement around the best way forward. Here I imagine that the school will be looking to you for support in the fact that this was an almighty stupid thing to do. They won't be impressed if you reference being more worried about nicotine. His behaviour was criminal and on school grounds - both he and you will need to accept that fully if the remainder of his schooling (be it the next few months or two years) is positive.
There may be a discussion about sanctions - loss of free time during the pupil day for a time, on a monitoring card, regular check ins with guidance/depute and possibly agreement to meet with a counsellor at least for one session.
With us there would then be a 'contract' agreed between you all which you would all sign.
Like I said, if this is the first time he has really got into trouble I would expect things to move on in a fairly straightforward way.
However, the school will absolutely need to be convinced that this was a one off and that you and your son are not minimising it. As another poster said, other parents will be unhappy and while that doesn't sway the treatment of one pupil it needs be to taken into account if there is any suspicion that his behaviour isn't being taken seriously at home.
Like I said, that is from my own experience. And really depends on whether your son generally keeps his head down.
Jeez, I hope the OP's "sorry little bunny" of a drug user isn't at my child's school.
Cheers PassMeTheCrisps. Thats really helpful.
Yeah, while my personal concern is greater over nicotine, it would be negligent of the school not to be concerned about the cannabis. As far as I know the only other parents who know are the parents of the other children who were searched.
In terms of the legal situation, while they cant permanently exclude him without a formal process, I'd be worried that they encourage him to leave....and once he is over 16, he has no right to be admitted to another school.
I think the fact it's called a "resolution meeting" might mean it's not curtains for him. And if the area don't permanently exclude normally then it's unlikely they would for this.
That said, you give the impression he has just had a tiny hiccup and not monumentally fucked up.
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