Hollingworth Academy, through effective and positive behaviour management, aims to avoid pupils being excluded from school and actively seeks ways of reducing exclusion rates. It should, however, be recognised that serious breaches of school discipline are unacceptable and the school will apply a serious sanction where these to occur. This policy aims to give governors, staff, pupils and parents/carers an understanding of the kinds of behaviours that may well result in exclusion and how these are managed.
This policy was drawn up with reference to the following documents:
- Behaviour and Discipline in Schools, a guide for Headteachers and school staff (DfE 2011)
- Behaviour and Discipline in schools, guidance for governing bodies (DfE 2012)
- Exclusions from Mainstream Schools, Academies and Pupil Referral Units in England (DfE 2012)
Fixed Term Exclusions
Exclusions are used where a serious breach of school discipline occurs or where a pupil is causing persistent disruption to learning and teaching. The school has two levels of fixed term exclusion to reflect not only the seriousness of the breach of school discipline, but also the previous behaviour of the pupil concerned and the context. Each situation is judged on a case by case basis.
External Fixed Term Exclusions are used for more serious breaches of school discipline or where a pupil has a record of previous serious incidents or persistent disruption to learning. Exclusions of this type are for a maximum of five school days. They are recorded on the exclusion log and on the child's record in school. Pupils returning from fixed term exclusion will have a readmission meeting in school with their parents/carers and may be subject to a Pastoral Support Plan (PSP) or other interventions designed to prevent further exclusions.
Internal Fixed Term Exclusions are used where a serious breach of school discipline occurs, but the incident is less extreme. Internal fixed term exclusions may also be used where a child would normally be excluded externally, but an external exclusion could put them at potential risk. They may also be used when the incident is the first serious incident involving a particular child.
Decisions about fixed term exclusions are taken by the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher, once they have been presented with the evidence gathered by the Head of Year about the incident and are satisfied that there is a balance of probability that the pupil has been responsible for a serious breach of school discipline.
The list below outlines the kinds of serious incidents/behaviour that may result in fixed term exclusions. This is not an exhaustive list, but gives an indication of the types of serious breaches of school discipline which may lead to exclusion.
Serious incidents are defined as the following:
- Verbal abuse including the use of foul and abusive language either directed at another pupil or an adult.
- Physical assault, where pupils are fighting, kicking or hitting each other.
- Racist language or behaviour.
- Possession of a weapon or dangerous object.
- Possession of drugs or alcohol.
- Unusual behaviour which may be consistent with being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Threatening behaviour/physical assault on an adult.
- Sexual misconduct.
- Theft of others' property, belongings and school equipment.
- Deliberate vandalism.
- Behaviour which puts themselves or others at risk of serious harm.
- Misuse of social media to bully, intimidate or humiliate others.
Incidents Outside of School Hours
The above sanctions apply to all school activities, trips and visits. If a serious incident occurs whilst on a school trip or visit, then the pupil(s) concerned may well be excluded from future school trips and visits. If an incident occurs either on the way to or from school, the school has the right to apply sanctions such as exclusions.
If an incident occurs outside of school hours, in the evenings or at weekends, the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher must consider whether the presence of a pupil in the school building is likely to have an impact on the smooth running of the school or on the safety and well-being of other pupils or staff. If this is the case exclusions may well be applied.
Governors Pupil Behaviour and Inclusion Committee
The Governors Pupil Behaviour and Inclusion Committee meets for three main reasons.
- To discuss with senior members of pastoral staff exclusion rates and patterns of behaviour.
- To discuss the behaviour of individual pupils who have either been brought to the committee's attention for very serious incidents or if a child has been excluded a number of times. They will also meet if a child is excluded for more than 15 days in a term. These meetings enable the governing body to ensure that appropriate levels of support are in place and to discuss with the pupil and their parents/carers the steps the Headteacher may have to take if behaviour does not improve.
- To hear the case of a child who is permanently excluded from the school.
Governors do not have the power to overturn the Headteacher's decision to exclude a pupil unless the exclusion results in a pupil missing a public examination, the exclusion is permanent, the exclusion results in the pupil being excluded for more than 15 days in a school term, or where a pupil has been excluded for more than 5 days in a term and where parents/carers have requested a governing body meeting.
Governors must ensure that the correct procedures are in place and be satisfied that the school has done all it can to try and support the pupil in question.
Pupils may be permanently excluded for a very serious one off incident or for persistent breaches of school discipline. The Headteacher, or in his or her absence the Deputy Headteacher, are the only people who can make a decision to permanently exclude a pupil.
Where a permanent exclusion is considered, the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher may exclude for a fixed period initially in order to be sure that all the evidence is considered and to allow the pupil's record and circumstance to be investigated. This may also include a discussion with parents/carers.
The Headteacher will consider alternatives to exclusion such as a managed move to another school in the following circumstances.
- The Headteacher is confident that the child does not represent a threat to the health and safety of pupils or staff at another mainstream school.
- The pupil would benefit from a move of school in order to move away from disruptive influences that may have influenced their behaviour.
- Where a single serious one off incident occurs where returning to the school may have a significant impact on another child or group of children, but in the opinion of the Headteacher is not likely to re-occur in another mainstream school.
Any managed move must meet the criteria set out in the Local Authority guidance and must be with the consent of the parent/carer and child concerned. If the managed move is unsuccessful the Headteacher may decide to permanently exclude the pupil concerned.
This policy will be reviewed at regular intervals by the governing body/Academy Trust and amended in the light of any new published guidelines from the DfE.
Created: September 2014
Created by: Mr S White - Deputy Headteacher
Approved by: Full Governors
To be reviewed: September 2015
Updated: 25th June 2015 (Mr Martin Morrell – Deputy Headteacher)