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Agenda;Joan Sallis answers your questions;Briefing;Governors

Q

Should the same governor have been on two exclusion appeals? Two months ago we excluded a girl for 10 days for bullying and her parents made representations, saying she was unjustly accused by a teacher with a grudge.

The three governors on the panel who upheld the head's action included the chairman who thinks he should chair every important meeting, so he was there again when the girl was permanently excluded for repeated bullying incidents, this time with extreme violence and much more evidence. The parents complained that he was biased as his child was said to have been one of the victims. Must we heed this?

A

Panel members should be governors with no previous involvement, otherwise the outcome can be challenged. In your chair's case he should not have been included if he was involved in the incidents leading up to the exclusion. You must take advice from your local authority but it sounds to me as though you are only safe if you have another hearing with a fresh panel.

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