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Tories will give leaders final say on exclusion

A future Conservative Government would prevent pupils and their parents from legally challenging heads' decisions on exclusions.

The Tories have consistently campaigned on abolishing independent exclusion appeals panels.

Heads have always warned that though they are not entirely happy with the way the panels operate, abolishing them would lead parents to embark on a flood of legal action.

But Michael Gove, Conservative shadow education secretary, has told The TES that his party is confident that it can go a step further and prevent parents from appealing in the courts, giving heads the ultimate say on who they exclude.

"We are in the process of copper-bottoming the legal position," he said. "But if the law needs to be changed to give heads this power then we will act on that basis."

But John Dunford, the Association of School and College Leaders' general secretary, was sceptical. "I think principles of natural justice would apply and if anybody took it to a European court they would be given the right to appeal," he said.

The issue, pages 22-25.

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