Suspension and Exclusion Arrangements
Protocol prior to decisions about suspension and exclusion
Holmes Chapel Primary School will only suspend or exclude as a last resort. All children in our school are entitled to a safe and orderly learning environment, and all of our staff are entitled to work in an environment free from violence and disruption. Our behaviour policy is designed to ensure such a safe environment and to promote good behaviour. Permanent exclusion will only be considered when the head teacher’s risk assessment concludes that the welfare and safety of other members of the school community cannot be assured.
New guidance has been provided in the updated DfE guidance 'Suspension and Permanement Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England' (January 2022) - see link below.
Part two - This guidance has been updated to reflect the government’s ambition to create high
standards of behaviour in schools so that children and young people are protected from
disruption and can learn and thrive in a calm, orderly, safe, and supportive environment.
Suspensions and permanent exclusions will sometimes be necessary as a last resort to
maintain this environment and this guidance provides schools and other bodies involved
in this process with information so that they can continue to use exclusions well.
Part three - This government supports headteachers in using suspension and permanent exclusion
as a sanction when warranted as part of creating a calm, orderly, safe, and supportive
environment in which pupils can learn and thrive. To achieve this, suspensions and
permanent exclusion are sometimes a necessary part of a functioning system, where it is
accepted that not all pupil behaviour can be amended or remedied by pastoral processes.
The guidance says in Part Three Section 10 that a decision to permanently exclude a pupil should only be taken:
- In response to a serious breach, or persistent breaches, of the school's behaviour policy; and
- Where allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school
Children with SEND
The guidance refers to pupils with a statement of SEN, and applies to pupils who have education, health and care plans (EHCPs). While schools may exclude pupils with EHCPs or statements of SEN, Part Four Section 45 of the guidance explains that these pupils are especially vulnerable to the impact of exclusion. Head teachers should, as far as possible, avoid permanently excluding these pupils.
Part Four Section 47 and 48 adds:
Where a school has concerns about the behaviour, or risk of suspension and
permanent exclusion, of a pupil with additional needs, a disability or an EHC plan it
should, in partnership with others (and where relevant, the local authority), consider
what additional support or alternative placement may be required. This should involve
assessing the suitability of provision for a pupil’s SEN or disability.
Where a pupil has an EHC plan, schools should contact the local authority about any
behavioural concerns at an early stage and consider requesting an early annual
review prior to making the decision to suspend or permanently exclude. For those
without an EHC plan, the school should review, with external specialists as
appropriate, whether the current support arrangements are appropriate and what
changes may be required. This may provide a point for schools to request an EHC
assessment or a review of the pupil’s current package of support, which may then be increased.
1. Ensure that support for the pupil is in line with the academy Relationships and Behaviour Policy and ‘reasonable expectations’ of provision
2. Ensure that all behaviour incidents are fully recorded and documented
3. Where a pattern of high risk / violent behaviour emerges, refer to the LA to flag the concern and seek additional support from locality / social care services e.g. by convening a ‘Child In Need’ meeting
4. Refer high risk / violent behaviour as a potential Child Protection issue to be investigated by the relevant local authority agency / team
5. Record any fixed term suspensions and exclusions
6. Ensure that all notes record the impact on other children and staff, including photographs of any injuries
7. If a child has a statement of SEND or an EHCP seek an early annual review
8. Having done the above, if there is no improvement (or no additional support) inform LA that the child is at risk of permanent exclusion and seek a meeting with the appropriate (senior) officer to find a way forward
9. If no resolution or improvement the head teacher should take action in line with DfE guidance on exclusion.