Suspension and Exclusion Policy
Suspension and Exclusion Policy
The college aims to ensure that:
● a high standard of education is provided to students within a climate of good behaviour
● students in college are safe and happy
● the exclusion/suspension process is applied fairly and consistently
● the exclusion/suspension process is understood by governors, staff, parents/carers and students
2. College Policies
This policy notes that while there exists statutory guidance in relation to schools, this statutory guidance does not apply to 16-19 academies, and therefore does not apply to the college. The college’s protocols are contained within this policy.
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant college policies including:
● Mindset for Learning
● Fitness to Study
● Child Protection and Safeguarding
● Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
3. The Decision to Exclude/Suspend
The decision to exclude or suspend may only be made by the Principal, however the process may be operationally administered by any other senior member of staff under the instruction of the Principal.
Behavioural reasons for exclusion/suspension may include, but are not limited to, instances of actual or threatened violence, damage to college property, sexual abuse or assault, supplying banned substances, carrying an offensive weapon, use of abusive or threatening language or persistent or serious breaches of college policies and procedures. This may include behaviour demonstrated outside of the College.
As a last resort, exclusion/suspension may also be considered for academic and engagement reasons (including persistent poor attendance below 85%). The processes relating to these areas are included in the Mindset of Learning Policy and Fitness to Study Policy.
Before deciding whether to exclude/suspend a student, the Principal will:
● consider all the relevant facts and evidence
● allow the student to give their version of events, where practical
● consider if the student has special educational needs (SEN) or is known to be part of another vulnerable group
● consider possible short term mitigating circumstances, such as bereavement or mental health factors
The College will take care to ensure that a decision to exclude does not involve any kind of discrimination, as defined by the Equality Act 2010. The College will not discriminate against students on the basis of protected characteristics, such as disability or race.
Permanent exclusion will only ever be considered
- as a last resort following a series of suspensions or the completion of the Mindset for Learning/Fitness to Study process where no agreement can be reached
- or in response to the most serious incidents that have caused actual harm ( to persons, property or reputation) or the risk of serious harm that, in the view of the Principal, cannot be reasonably mitigated
4. Definition of college days
For the purposes of suspensions, the college day is defined as any day on which there is a college session. Therefore, INSET or staff training days do not count as a college day.
5. Notification of an exclusion/suspension
Informing the student
A student who has been excluded/suspended will have the reason for their exclusion/suspension explained to them by a member of staff.
The Principal will immediately provide the following information, in writing, to the parents/carers of an excluded student:
● The reason(s) for the exclusion/suspension
● The length of the suspension or, for a permanent exclusion, the fact that it is permanent
● Information about how to request an appeal meeting with the Local Governing Body
Informing the Local Governing Body
The Principal will immediately notify the local governing body of:
● A permanent exclusion, including when a suspension is made into a permanent exclusion
● Suspensions which would result in the student being excluded for more than 5 college days in a term
● Suspension which would result in the student missing a public examination.
For all other suspensions,, the Principal will notify the local governing body once a term.
6. Students returning from a period of suspension
Students returning from a period of suspension must attend a reintegration meeting, accompanied by a parent/carer. This meeting will seek to establish practical
ways in which further suspensions can be avoided and behaviour modified to acceptable standards in partnership between the student, parent/carer and college.
7. Procedure for appeal - in the case of Permanent Exclusion only
If a student or parent/carer wishes to appeal against the Principal’s decision to permanently exclude, they must make their appeal in writing to the Chair of Governors within 15 college days of the decision to exclude being issued.
The appeal will be heard by an exclusions panel comprising either three Co-op Academies Trust governors or two Co-op Academies Trust governors plus one of the Trust’s Chief Education Officers. The governors will not necessarily be drawn from the College. If a Chief Education Officer sits on the panel this will not be the Chief Education Officer for the Greater Manchester region.
The exclusions panel will consider the reinstatement of an excluded student within 15 college days of receiving the written appeal. If the student is aged 18 or over, they may represent themselves.
Where an exclusion would result in a student missing a public examination, the exclusions panel will consider the reinstatement of the student before the date of the examination. If this is not practicable, the chair of the Co-op Academies Trust Board (or the vice-chair where the chair is unable to make this consideration) will consider the exclusion independently and decide whether or not to reinstate the student.
The exclusions panel can either:
● Decline to reinstate the student
● Direct the reinstatement of the student immediately, or on a particular date.
In reaching a decision the exclusions panel will consider whether the exclusion was reasonable and procedurally fair. The panel will decide whether or not a fact is true ‘on the balance of probabilities’, which differs from the criminal standard of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.
Minutes will be taken of the meeting, and a record of evidence considered kept. The outcome will also be recorded on the student’s educational record.
The exclusions panel will notify, in writing, the Principal, the student and their parents/carers of its decision, along with reasons for its decision, without delay.
All policies are available to stakeholders either on the College website or upon request from the College Office.