The Independent Grammar School: Durham

EXCLUSIONS POLICY

General

This policy should be read in conjunction with the school’s Behaviour Policy.

This policy is based on the commitment by the school community to achieve three aims:

  • ensuring the safety and well-being of all members of the school community at all times

  • maintaining an appropriate education environment for the successful learning of all

  • reducing the need for exclusion to be used as a sanction

As the Behaviour Policy makes clear, exclusion will only ever be used as a last resort and will always be seen as a sanction to be avoided if at all possible.

Fixed term exclusions: Procedure

Exclusion can only ever be administered as a sanction by the Principal. Exclusions will normally be of a fixed-term nature, typically between one and three days. Department for Education regulations allow the Principal to exclude a pupil for one or more fixed periods not exceeding a total of 45 school days in any one school year.

Following an exclusion decision, the pupil will be kept safely under supervision, apart from all other pupils. The parents or carers of the child will be contacted and asked to collect the child. The child will be supervised until collection. A letter will also be sent by post, setting out the background to, and details of the exclusion. It will also set out the rights of appeal of the parents and the next steps (as below).

Parents/carers may appeal to the Principal against any exclusion. If they are not satisfied with the outcome, they may appeal to the Chairman of the School Board, whose contact details are available on the school’s website.

The Chairman of the School Board may decide to meet with the parents/carers to consider the appeal. Parents may be accompanied at the meeting by their choice of representative and minutes of the meeting will be taken by the secretary to the School Board. Any decisions made at this stage will be final.

A return to school meeting will be organised to coincide with the expiry of the fixed-term exclusion. This will involve the school Principal, and other staff where appropriate. During this meeting a Pastoral Support Plan will be drawn up, which will include a review date. During the course of a fixed term exclusion where the pupil is to be at home, parents/carers are advised that the pupil is not allowed on the school premises, and that daytime supervision is their responsibility as parents/carers.

Records relating to exclusions will be stored confidentially.

Investigation

Exclusion will only be imposed instantly if there is considered an immediate threat to the safety of others in the school or the pupil concerned. The Principal will conduct thorough and appropriate investigations before deciding whether or not to exclude a pupil, allowing the pupil to give their version of events, and considering the wider context, including all appropriate school policies, to ensure that any relevant context is taken into account.

Permanent exclusion procedure

Permanent exclusions will be rare but remain as an option in extreme cases. The extreme cases that will lead to consideration of a permanent exclusion include the following:

  • Supplying or use of illegal drugs

  • Sexual abuse

  • Violence towards a teacher in the school

  • Carrying an offensive weapon

  • Arson

As above, a full investigation will be carried out by the Principal considering all context, in consultation with the Chairman of the School Board. Parents will have the same rights of appeal against permanent exclusion.