Quick Guide: The Governors' Duty to Reconsider

This Quick-Guide sets out the law and practice relating to a governing body’s duty to reconsider a permanent exclusion An exclusion that results in the young person being removed from the school register and barred from the school’s campus indefinitely. after an IRP.

This Quick Guide covers:

  1. The governors’ responsibilities before reconsideration;
  2. The governors’ responsibilities to reconsider;
  3. The governors’ responsibilities after reconsideration.

1. The governors’ responsibilities before reconsideration

Paragraph 147 of the Exclusion Guidance requires that the governors must meet to reconsider the exclusion within 10 school days of the independent review panel giving notice of their decision to either quash the exclusion or recommend reconsideration of it.

This reconsideration does not have to be a hearing, like the original governors' review of the exclusion. Governors do not need to inform the family of when the reconsideration will take place or invite them to it. Whilst the family can request to attend, there is no requirement that they be allowed to do so.

2. The governors’ responsibilities to reconsider

The governors’ reconsideration will be a process of considering the exclusion again, with the benefit of commentary from the IRP.

In coming to a conclusion, the governors will need to be careful to account for any flaws in their previous decision making highlighted by the IRP and should account for any decision that departs from the findings of the independent review panel by giving detailed reasoning.

At paragraph 172, the Exclusion Guidance reminds governors that:

It is important that the governing board conscientiously reconsiders whether the pupil should be reinstated, whether the panel has directed or merely recommended it to do so. Whilst the governing board may still reach the same conclusion as it first did, it may face challenge in the courts if it refuses to reinstate the pupil, without strong justification

3. The governor’s responsibilities after reconsideration

After reconsideration of the exclusion the governors must come to one of three decisions. They can either uphold the exclusion, reinstate the young person with immediate effect, or reinstate the young person from a particular date.

They must communicate their decision to the family, the headteacher and any relevant local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. “without delay”.

If the exclusion was quashed by the IRP, but on reconsideration the governors uphold it anyway, the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. will expect to make a financial adjustment to the school’s budget of £4,000. If the school is an academy, then the money will be paid directly to the local authority A government organisation with jurisdiction over a local area such as a borough or county, often called a local council. Where multiple authorities overlap, the local education authority (LEA) has responsibility for excluded children. in which the school sits.

After reconsideration, if the exclusion is upheld, then the school will be expected to remove the young person’s name from the register unless there is an ongoing claim for discrimination A challenge against an exclusion in the First Tier Tribunal A judicial body that will hear appeals against exclusions if the family believe the young person has been the victim of discrimination on the basis of disability. or County Court, alleging that the young person has been discriminated against. in the First Tier Tribunal A judicial body that will hear appeals against exclusions if the family believe the young person has been the victim of discrimination on the basis of disability. or County Court.