Does My Child have Special Educational Needs?
If you start to notice your child appears to be experiencing difficulties in school or the gap between their peers is widening, you may start wondering if the child has Special Educational Needs.
It's no secret that school exclusions are on the rise across England and Wales. From allegations of bad behaviour to informal exclusions, schools are finding different ways of excluding students including some that they don't necessarily want to keep.
Our Education Law Solicitors share 7 tips on what you can do if your child has been unfairly excluded from school.
Data on school exclusions from the Department for Education paints a bleak picture:
By law, schools can only exclude children on the grounds of behavioural problems and the decision is made by the headteacher.
But, with increasing pressure to 'get results' some schools want to remove children in circumstances where there isn't a sufficient reason to permanently exclude them. This means that they look for other grounds on which a student can be excluded.
We have even come across schools that have a sixth fewer children in year 11 than they have in year 7 because they've somehow managed to exclude them over the years.
Knowing exactly which methods schools use to exclude students is crucial for parents so that you can take action if your child is being targeted.
Some Common Tactics include:
Here's what you can do if your child has been excluded from school:
One of the first things you can do is to ask the governing body at the school to overturn the decision if your child has been excluded for over 5 days and/or the exclusion means they'll miss an exam. The governors won't be able to change a decision if your child has been excluded for less than 5 days, but it's still useful to contact them.
Your next option would be to ask for an independent review by your Local Council or Academy Trust.
Being excluded from school is upsetting and traumatising for children. If you notice your child isn't coping well, you could ask whether they'd like to speak to a counsellor.
If your child has SEND and you believe that their school didn't consider their needs when making a decision, it's a good idea to get legal advice from an Education Law Solicitor.
It's usually the case that excluded students with SEND haven't been given the right level of support, which can cause problems. Students with a disability can also expect schools to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate that disability and failure to do so can be grounds for challenging a decision to exclude.
You could contact other local schools to find out whether they have any available spaces. But, bear in mind that if your child is of compulsory school age your Local Authority must provide them with education, which should normally be full-time in school. Alternatively, some people might look into private schools.
If the governors won't change their minds or you're unsuccessful in getting a review, then it's best to speak to an Education Law Solicitor about what action you can take.
Fill in the form below to get in touch with one of our education law team, or call our team today on: 0808 239 9764