Students who persistently break their behaviour contract or who are involved in a particularly serious incident may receive a fixed-term exclusion. Fixed term or permanent exclusions are issued at the discretion of the Headteacher. All decisions to exclude are serious and only taken as a last resort or where the breach of the school rules is serious. The following are examples;
- Refusal to follow the instructions of a senior member of staff;
- Failure to wear Academy uniform which has been provided (where possible) for a student who is in incorrect uniform is regarded as failure to comply with a reasonable request;
- Breaches of health and safety rules;
- Verbal abuse of staff, other adults or students;
- Possession of drugs and/or alcohol related offences;
- Failure to comply with the requirements of the behaviour system;
- Wilful damage to property;
- Serious misconduct targeted towards Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual or Transgender (LGBT) staff or students;
- Racist language or conduct;
- Sexual misconduct;
- Making a false allegation against a member of staff;
- Behaviour which calls into question the good name of the school;
- Persistent defiance or disruption;
- Minor assaults or fighting that is not premeditated or planned;
- Other serious breaches of school rules;
On the rare occasions where these are needed, SLT will make a referral to the Headteacher who will make the final decision. SLT will consider each case individually including the students’ needs before making a referral. As an alternative to exclusion the Headteacher may, in limited circumstances, make use of a partial timetable to support a student.
Parents / Carer reserve the right to appeal against a FTE. In the first instance, we advise that this is raised with the Support & Challenge team. On a rare occasion where a parent / carer is still not happy, it should then escalated to the Headteacher.
‘A decision to exclude a pupil permanently should only be taken: in response to serious 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 pupils or others in the school’.
(DfE ‘Exclusion from maintained schools, Academies and pupil referral units in England 2012)
The Headteacher will make the judgement, where it is appropriate to permanently exclude a child for a first or ‘one-off’ offence. These offences might include:
- serious actual or threatened physical assault against another student or a member of staff;
- sexual abuse or assault;
- supplying an illegal drug;
- Homophobic or racist bullying over time;
- possession of an illegal drug with intent to supply;
- carrying an offensive weapon;
- making a malicious serious false allegation against a member of staff;
- potentially placing students, staff and members of the public in significant danger or at risk of significant harm;
- deliberate activation of the fire alarm without good intent;
- repeated or serious misuse of the school computers by hacking or other activities that compromise the integrity of the computer network.
These instances are not exhaustive, but indicate the severity of such offences and the fact that such behaviour can affect the discipline and well-being of the school community. The Headteacher may also permanently exclude a student for:-
- persistent disruption and defiance including bullying (which would include racist or homophobic bullying); or
- an offence which is not listed but is, in the opinion of the Headteacher, so serious that it will have a detrimental effect on the discipline and well-being of the school community.
If a parent / carer wished to challenge a decision, they may raise this with the Local Schools Committee. They may also wish to contact Education Bradford who can provide people with advice on what options are available. Other sources of free and impartial advice can be found at: Department for Education’s statutory guidance on exclusions www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/statutory/g00210521/statutory-guidance-regs2012/guidance
Responsibilities regarding exclusions is delegated to an Ad Hoc Committee made up of two Trust Directors and one member of the Local School Committee. This Comittee has a duty to consider the reinstatement of an excluded pupil.
For a fixed-period exclusion of more than 5 school days, the governing board will arrange suitable full-time education for the pupil. This provision will begin no later than the sixth day of the exclusion. Provision does not have to be arranged for pupils in the final year of compulsory education who do not have any further public examinations to sit. (secondary schools only).
Considering the reinstatement of a pupil
The Ad Hoc Committee will consider the reinstatement of an excluded pupil within 15 school days of receiving the notice of the exclusion if:
- The exclusion is permanent
- It is a fixed-term exclusion which would bring the pupil's total number of school days of exclusion to more than 15 in a term
- It would result in a pupil missing a public examination
If requested to do so by parents, the Ad Hoc Committee will consider the reinstatement of an excluded pupil within 50 school days of receiving notice of the exclusion if the pupil would be excluded from school for more than 5 school days, but less than 15, in a single term.
Where an exclusion would result in a pupil missing a public examination, Ad Hoc Committee will consider the reinstatement of the pupil before the date of the examination. If this is not practicable, the Committee will consider the exclusion and decide whether or not to reinstate the pupil.
The Ad Hoc Committee can either:
- Decline to reinstate the pupil, or
- Direct the reinstatement of the pupil immediately, or on a particular date
In reaching a decision, Ad Hoc Committee will consider whether the exclusion was lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair and whether the headteacher followed their legal duties. They will decide whether or not a fact is true ‘on the balance of probabilities’, which differs from the criminal standard of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, as well as any evidence that was presented in relation to the decision to exclude.
Minutes will be taken of the meeting, and a record of evidence considered kept. The outcome will also be recorded on the pupil’s educational record.
The Commitee will notify, in writing, the headteacher, parents and the LA of its decision, along with reasons for its decision, without delay.
Where an exclusion is permanent, Ad Hoc Committee's decision will also include the following:
- The fact that it is permanent
- Notice of parents’ right to ask for the decision to be reviewed by an independent review panel, and:
- The date by which an application for an independent review must be made
- The name and address to whom an application for a review should be submitted
- That any application should set out the grounds on which it is being made and that, where appropriate, reference to how the pupil’s SEN are considered to be relevant to the exclusion
- That, regardless of whether the excluded pupil has recognised SEN, parents have a right to require the Academy Trust to appoint an SEN expert to attend the review
- Details of the role of the SEN expert and that there would be no cost to parents for this appointment
- That parents must make clear if they wish for an SEN expert to be appointed in any application for a review
- That parents may, at their own expense, appoint someone to make written and/or oral representations to the panel, and parents may also bring a friend to the review
- That if parents believe that the exclusion has occurred as a result of discrimination, they may make a claim under the Equality Act 2010 to the first-tier tribunal (special educational needs and disability), in the case of disability discrimination, or the county court, in the case of other forms of discrimination. A claim of discrimination made under these routes should be lodged within 6 months of the date on which the discrimination is alleged to have taken place
An independent review
If parents apply for an independent review, the Beckfoot Trust will arrange for an independent panel to review the decision of the governing board not to reinstate a permanently excluded pupil.
Applications for an independent review must be made within 15 school days of notice being given to the parents by the Ad Hoc Committee of its decision to not reinstate a pupil.
A panel of 3 or 5 members will be constituted with representatives from each of the categories below. Where a 5-member panel is constituted, 2 members will come from the school governors category and 2 members will come from the headteacher category.
- A lay member to chair the panel who has not worked in any school in a paid capacity, disregarding any experience as a school governor or volunteer
- School governors who have served as a governor for at least 12 consecutive months in the last 5 years, provided they have not been teachers or headteachers during this time
- Headteachers or individuals who have been a headteacher within the last 5 years
A person may not serve as a member of a review panel if they:
- Are a Director of the Beckfoot Trust, or governing board of the excluding school
- Are the headteacher of the excluding school, or have held this position in the last 5 years
- Are an employee of the Beckfoot Trust, or the governing board, of the excluding school (unless they are employed as a headteacher at another school)
- Have, or at any time have had, any connection with the Beckfoot Trust, school, Board of Directors, parents or pupil, or the incident leading to the exclusion, which might reasonably be taken to raise doubts about their impartially
- Have not had the required training within the last 2 years (see appendix 1 for what training must cover)
A clerk will be appointed to the panel.
The independent panel will decide one of the following:
- Uphold the governing board’s decision
- Recommend that the governing board reconsiders reinstatement
- Quash the governing board’s decision and direct that they reconsider reinstatement (only when the decision is judged to be flawed)
The panel’s decision can be decided by a majority vote. In the case of a tied decision, the chair has the casting vote.
Safeguarding & Child Protection
All Beckfoot Thornton staff are safeguarding trained in line with Keeping Children Safe in Education and know that safeguarding is the responsibility of all staff.
Assistant Headteacher Mrs Haworth is our current safeguarding lead and specialist.
All staff members receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training which is regularly updated. In addition all staff members receive safeguarding and child protection updates to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.
All staff are aware of the designated safeguarding lead and the safeguarding team. Staff know how to report any cause for concern and are aware of the process for making referrals to children’s social care if members of the safeguarding team are not available.
All staff should know what to do if a child tells them he/she is being abused or neglected. Staff know to pass on any disclosures to the designated safeguarding lead or children’s social care if not available. Staff will never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about an allegation.
Students follow a comprehensive programme of tutor activities and assemblies designed to help keep them safe and to let them know where to go for help when needed.
Students know to speak to their form tutor, heads of year or the behaviour team if they have any concerns or problems about themselves or others. Further information about support from external agencies, such as Childline, is printed in planners.
On rare occasions, parents / carers will disagree with the action taken against their child. If this occurs, we encourage parents to contact the school and allow us to resolve the matter amicably. However, there may be occasions where an agreement cannot be made. If this occurs, please refer to the ‘Trust complaints procedure’’ section on the school website.
Reintegration meetings will be held with the student and parents / carers when a student returns from an exclusion. At this meeting the student’s behaviour will be discussed and the reintegration form will be completed.
Provision of Education for Students Excluded for a Period Exceeding 5 days
The school recognises the need to keep fixed term exclusions short wherever possible. It is therefore anticipated that in most cases exclusions would not exceed 5 days fixed term. Where it is necessary to exclude a student for a longer period, the school will ensure that provision is offered to the student from the 6th day onwards.
Screening, Searching and Confiscation
Please refer to the DfE guidance ‘Screening, Searching and Confiscation. Advice for Headteachers, staff and governing bodies’.
In addition to the practice identified in the DfE guidance, the school also bans the following items and as a result is able to search students for them:
- Any item brought into the school with the intention of the item being sold or passed on to other students which, in the Headteacher’s opinion will cause disruption to the school or be detrimental to school practice.
The Academy’s general power to discipline, as set out in Section 91 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006, enables a member of staff to confiscate, retain or dispose of a student’s property as a disciplinary penalty, where reasonable to do so.
The school will involve the police in all matters where criminal activity has taken place or is suspected of having taken place. In addition, the school will inform the police of any intelligence which may support them in preventing or tackling criminal activity.
A student and his or her family have the right to contact the police if they feel that a criminal offence has been committed.
The school may use CCTV for the purpose of maintaining discipline and managing behaviour and safety. A separate policy exists which covers the use of CCTV.
Use of Reasonable Force
Please refer to the DfE guidance ‘Use of reasonable force. Advice for Headteachers, staff and governing bodies’.
All members of staff have a legal power to use reasonable force. This power applies to any member of staff at the school. It can also apply to people whom the Headteacher has temporarily put in charge of students such as unpaid volunteers, cover staff or parents/carers accompanying students on a school organised visit.
Safer Schools Partnership Officer
A Safer Schools Partnership (Police) Officer (SSPO) is employed to work at the school. A Safer Schools Partnership is a formal agreement between the school and police to work together in order to keep young people safe, reduce crime and fear of crime and improve behaviour in the academies and their communities.
This involves a police officer working regularly at school to ensure:
- the safety of pupils, staff and the school site and surrounding area;
- help for young people to deal with situations that may put them at risk of becoming victims of crime, bullying or intimidation, and to provide support to those who do;
- focused enforcement to demonstrate that those who do offend cannot do so without facing consequences;
- early identification, support and where necessary challenge of pupils involved in or at risk of offending;
- improved standards of pupil behaviour and attendance, and less need for exclusions;
- more positive relations between young people and the police and between young people and the wider community; and
- effective approaches to issues beyond the school site that negatively impact on pupil safety and behaviour.
- feel safer, knowing that a police officer is on hand to help resolve conflicts and respond to harmful behaviour;
- learn more effectively as they grow more confident that they can attend school in safety;
- find out how to avoid being drawn into crime and anti-social or extremist behaviour and learn more about what the police do in the community;
- receive support if they have been victims of crime and learn new skills to avoid being victims and be safer on journeys to and from school; and
- benefit from a positive role model through contact with the SSP officer.
The above information is also contained within the Beckfoot Thornton Behaviour for Learning Policy which can be found here: