3. Meeting with the person you are supporting

It is useful to use the time before the hearing to ensure that the young person and their family know what is happening and to give them the opportunity to ask any questions about the way the hearing is going to proceed. This is a stressful process that they will be unlikely to be familiar with. Information about how they can rely on your support, and what they can expect from the hearing, can go a long way to putting people at ease.

You can also agree how you want to approach the hearing. Often, young people are particularly concerned with whether they will have to answer questions or make a statement. You can agree in advance that you, or they, will do the talking and take questions.

You can also make sure the family know to expect that the governors may ask a range of questions, covering what happened, what they want to achieve and whether they are sorry. It can be helpful for the young person to answer questions if they feel up for it, as this will often go a long way to reassuring the governors that they have learned from the experience.

In addition, you may want to agree on issues the family should try to avoid discussing. For example, if there are criminal proceedings ongoing in relation to the same event that lead to the exclusion, it would be inappropriate for them to provide information that may go on to impact the criminal proceedings.

Once you are confident with your approach to meeting with the family, continue to the next step.

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