Exclusion appeal

Q I am the chair of governors of a secondary comprehensive. Recently, our head excluded a child permanently because of his disruptive behaviour. The parent is appealing against that decision and the appeal will shortly come before the governors. One governor has raised a question about whether the fact that the boy has a statement of special educational need, because he is autistic, means that we have to think differently about the exclusion and the appeal. Is this the case?

A The procedures for exclusions and appeals are contained within the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998 and in guidance published by the Department for Education and Skills. However, if the child in question is disabled within the meaning of Part 1 of the Disability Discrimination Act, the provisions of Part 4 of the act, concerning discrimination against disabled students in education, will also apply.

Broadly, this means the school should give particular consideration as to whether the fact that the boy in question has autism means the school is treating him unfairly in some way.

It is not always easy to see how this might arise, particularly given that his behaviour may have given legitimate cause for concern.

The Disability Rights Commission's helpful Code of Practice for Schools, which deals with disability discrimination, gives examples of what might constitute discrimination in the area of exclusions.

David Ruebain is a partner specialising in education and disability discrimination at the law firm Levenes. www.levenes.co.uk

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now