Where SEND is present, a school has a range of responsibilities to ensure that the risk of that young person being excluded is minimised.
It is not enough for a school to simply say they cannot support a young person with their SEND. The Exclusions Guidance Statutory guidance to schools, governors and local authorities on the law and process for excluding, and reviewing exclusions. The 2017 edition of the guidance is the current version. states that:
It is unlawful to exclude for a non-disciplinary reason. For example, it would be unlawful to exclude a pupil simply because they have additional needs or a disability that the school feels it is unable to meet
There is a range of options for a school to explore to support a young person with additional needs. These include using their internal discretionary top-up funding to access mentors, educational psychologists, speech and language therapists and other professionals. beyond this, they can apply for an EHCP or request support from the local authority A borough, county or city council that has responsibility for providing education to children in their area. and specialist, external services.
Speak to the family, look through the school’s records and the panel pack A bundle of documents compiled by the headteacher to support their case for exclusion. It will be provided to the governors and the family ahead of the review meeting. . Consider whether the school has taken purposeful action to intervene and support the young person with their underlying need.
If you have completed a subject access request The legal process for obtaining information about yourself or a person you are representing that is held by a school or other body. and received records, see if any claims the school has made about taking steps to support the young person are reflected in the evidence.
Once you have done this, answer the question: did the school take effective steps to support the young person with their additional needs?
- If the answer is no, consider downloading the Suggested Wording: Argument to the Governors; the School Failed to Implement Supportive Interventions.