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Case Study

Education - Exclusion

Education - Exclusion

We were contacted by a family for help fighting for reinstatement.

Sadly, some of our work doesn't always result in the outcomes we or our clients want or deserve. However, we always endeavour to find a positive in the work we do. Here's a great example:

We were contacted by a family for advice and support following their child’s PEX (Permanent Exclusion) from a large Academy School in North Tyneside. 

The child was excluded following an investigation that had some clear flaws and inaccuracies, and was based on the balance of probabilities. 

The parents presented their case to the Academy Behavioural Panel (consisting of three Governors) as the school (represented by the Head Teacher and Deputy Head) presented theirs. The panel upheld the exclusion. 

The child had a Special Education Needs (SEN) diagnosis and the alternative provision was unsuitable for his needs. He had therefore been out of school since April 2023. 

The family had an older son at the same school who was a high achiever and they felt that their was a huge disparity in the support available for children of different abilities. 

The family wished to appeal to an Independent Review Panel (IRP) and asked for our support in lodging this and in preparing their case. 

The family were given very little time to prepare and were told the IRP was to be held in a formal setting outside of the school at Ward Hadaway, a local solicitors firm.  The IRP panel would be independent of the school in questionThose present representing the school included the Head Teacher, two Deputy Headteachers, the SENCO and the Chair of Governors. The clerk of the IRP was experienced in education law and one of the partners of the firm.   

The family felt overwhelmed by the process and setting and asked if we would be able to attend to support. We agreed that this would be appropriate. The family were well prepared and the panel listened carefully to everything they wished to say. 

Due to the amount of material to consider, the panel reconvened the following week and although they did not choose to quash the decision of the Academy Behaviour Panel, they decided that the panel had not had all of the appropriate information to hand and sent it back to the Panel to reconsider. 

The family felt there were ongoing issues at the school with the level and quality of support available for children with SEN and although they did not wish their child to return, this was a positive result to request the school looks at its policies and procedures. 


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