Information for Parents and Carers - Exclusions
What leads to an exclusion?
Exclusion means that your child will not be allowed to attend his/her school for a period of time. The decision to exclude is never taken lightly and will usually only take place when other strategies have failed. Only rarely will notification of exclusion be the first time a parent is aware of significant problems. There are only 2 circumstances in law where a pupil can be excluded:
- where the parent of a pupil refuses or fails to comply, or to allow the pupil to comply, with the rules, regulations or disciplinary requirements of the school
- where a pupil’s continued attendance at the school is likely to be seriously detrimental to order and discipline at the school or the educational well being of the pupils.
How will I know that my child is being excluded?
Every effort will be made to contact you either by telephone or in person and no pupil can be sent home or allowed to go home during school hours unless you have been contacted.
If contact has been made, secondary pupils may then be sent home but primary pupils must either be collected by a parent or be kept within school until the end of the school day.
In all circumstances, you will be sent a letter on the same day notifying you of the decision and offering you a time and place for a meeting within 7 calendar days. The letter will also include:
- the type of exclusion
- the date it began
- the reason for the exclusion
- the date and time of a meeting in school in which the parent/ pupil will be invited (this will be held within 7 calendar days)
- any conditions that should be agreed in order to be re-admitted to the school
- the right to appeal against the decision to exclude
The 'Standards in Scotland's Schools etc. Act 2000' requires schools to provide pupils of legal capacity with their own letter of exclusion and inform them of their right to appeal against the decision to exclude them from school.
Does this still apply if my child is 16?
No. If your child is 16 or over he/she is legally entitled to be dealt with directly and there is no obligation for you, the parents, to be contacted. This right applies throughout all the processes and procedures arising from a decision to exclude. However, it is the Council’s policy also to deal with parents in such circumstances, but if your child specifically requests that you are not informed/included then this confidentiality will be respected.
What form can exclusions take?
There are three types of exclusion:
- Temporary Exclusion: Can last a minimum of 1 half of a school day and a maximum of 5 school days.
- Conditional Exclusion: Readmission may be dependent upon satisfactory assurances from pupil and/or parents regarding future conduct.
- Exclusion/Removal from the Register: The school is reluctant to readmit the pupil and may request that the exclusion be confirmed by the Corporate Director of Education & Social Care as permanent.
There is not an inevitable progression from one type of exclusion to the other. The decision regarding type of exclusion is taken in light of the most appropriate action for the individual circumstances.
Who is responsible for my child when he/she is excluded?
The parent is responsible for the child’s safety, welfare and supervision. If your child is 16 or over then this is no longer the case although you the parent still have a responsibility to guide and direct your child.
Pupils who are excluded for more than 3 days are entitled to receive appropriate homework. Parents should contact the Head Teacher if homework is not forthcoming.
What happens if I think my child has been wrongly excluded?
You will receive written details of the full reasons for the decision to exclude your child together with information regarding the Right of Appeal and an address for appeals. This will either be included in the initial letter you receive or in a separate letter which will arrive very soon after and certainly in advance of the offered meeting date.
If you are unhappy with the outcome of the meeting and/or it does not lead to an agreed way forward you have the right to take matters further.
The processes and procedures which come into play when an exclusion is made are governed closely by the legal position and it is every Education Authority’s responsibility to ensure that the law is followed in this respect.
No Council undertakes the decision to exclude a pupil lightly, and in Moray very few children are excluded in any year.
Education and Social Care