The School Exclusions Hub today added a new Quick-Guide on the legal changes introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and how these will affect children excluded from school.
The Quick-Guide is titled “School Exclusions during Covid-19”. It takes users through two sets of changes. First, the guide explains changes to the entitlements that children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have experienced to the support they are normally entitled to, and how this might make them more vulnerable to unfair exclusion. Second, the guide sets out the changes to the process of challenging a school exclusion, including important changes to time limits and the system for hearing exclusion appeals online.
This is more important now than ever - there is broad consensus among education stakeholders that there is likely to be a spike in exclusions as schools try to get back to normal after many children have had six months at home. This is likely to mean more unlawful exclusions as schools struggle to meet new needs, and work with children who have experienced trauma, bereavement and neglect during lockdown.
If exclusions do increase, and as we face the prospect of a second wave in Covid-19 cases, it is vital that families can hold schools to account over flawed decision making and unlawful practices. That is why in addition to the information included, this new Quick-Guide also introduces three new downloadable resources to help families and their representatives make their case to headteachers, school governors and independent review panels using the most up to date rules that have changed rapidly throughout this year.
You can read the Quick-Guide here.
Earlier this year, we hosted a webinar to guide users through making the most of the School Exclusions Hub and its resources. You can watch it here.
You can read about our other work on school exclusions here.