Earlier this week, TheSchoolBus covered a news story which involved a 5-year old autistic boy being expelled for being ‘naughty.’
One of the incidents involved him pushing another pupil into a bookcase. Understandably upset, his mother claims that the schools had ignored a letter informing that that her child was on the autistic and ADHD spectrum.
The extent to which schools should be inclusive and support children with special educational needs is certainly a sensitive topic.
The argument which these schools may have is that such children put fellow pupils and staff at serious risk due to disruptive behaviour. But, what about the rights of pupils who are illegally excluded?
The Department of Education has advice on school exclusions which state that a child may only be excluded for disciplinary reasons. Moreover, the headteachers must let parents or carers know the reason behind the exclusion and for how long the child will be excluded.
Earlier in July this year, a rise in permanent primary school exclusions was observed for the previous year, with 45% of pupils being excluded for physical assault. A report on the Education section of the Guardian earlier this year found that several children with disabilities are being illegally excluded from school. According to the figures, 22% of pupils with disabilities were being illegally excluded every week.
Dr Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England, says that schools remain within the law when considering the difficult decision to exclude a pupil.
“We recognise that some pupils can be very disruptive and that it may be necessary to exclude them but doing so can also have a hugely negative effect on the young person and an ongoing cost to society in later life as disrupting education is likely to make them less employable.”
Looking for the latest statistics on primary and secondary school exclusions? TheSchoolBus has it covered – via some amazing interactive graphic maps which allow you to zoom in to view the details.
We’ve also got some great resources by our legal experts – these include an exclusion procedure for schools, a helpful flowchart and an exclusion template letter which you may modify for your needs.