A parent's guide to exclusion appeals by b7sgx93

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									LONDON BOROUGH OF NEWHAM




  A GUIDE FOR PARENTS
  EXCLUSION INDEPENDENT
  REVIEW PANEL




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                                        CONTENTS
                                                                         Page
INTRODUCTION

How do I lodge a review, and what happens next?                           4

WHO IS AT THE REVIEW HEARING?

1. Who will be at the review hearing?                                     5

ABOUT THE REVIEW PANEL

2. Who are the Independent Review Panel members?                          6
3. Is anyone disqualified from sitting on the review panel?               6
4. What powers does the review panel have?                                7

OTHER PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE REVIEW HEARING

5. What is the role of the Clerk to the review panel?                     7
6. What is the role of the Head teacher/representative of the school’s    8
   governing body at the review hearing?
7. What is the role of the nominated SEN expert officer                   8
    at the review hearing?

ATTENDING THE REVIEW HEARING

8. Should I attend the review hearing?                                    8
9. Can I bring someone with me to help present my case?                   9
10. Can I bring my son/daughter to the review hearing?                    9
11. What happens if I do not attend the hearing?                          9

PREPARING FOR THE REVIEW

12. Will I have any information about the governing body’s                9
    case before the review hearing?
13. How can I prepare for the review hearing?                             10
14. How long does a review hearing take?                                  11

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE REVIEW HEARING?

15. What will happen at the review hearing?                               11
16. Does the review panel ever adjourn the hearing?                       12
17. Why would the review panel adjourn the hearing if                     12
    there were parallel criminal proceedings?
18. What happens next if the review panel adjourns the hearing            13
    because of parallel criminal proceedings?
19. Once the criminal proceedings have been disposed of,                  13
    what account does the review panel have to take of them when
    deciding on the review?
20. What can I say at the review hearing?                                 14
21. Can I bring any witnesses?                                            14


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22. Will the school bring any witnesses?                                          14
23. Can the alleged victim, or their representative, attend the review hearing?   15
24. What evidence does the school produce at the review hearing?                  15
25. What consideration must the review panel give to written statements?          15
26. Can new evidence be put forward?                                              15
27. How does the panel consider my review if I believe that my                    16
son/daughter has been excluded for a reason related to
his/her disability?
28. How does the panel consider my review if I believe that my                    16
son/daughter has been discriminated against in his/her
exclusion on racial grounds?
29. Why does the Chairperson or Clerk ask if we have had                          16
a fair opportunity to put our case?

THE REVIEW PANEL’S DECISION

30. What does the review panel have to take into account in coming to             16
it’s decision about my review?
31. How does the review panel decide whether to allow or refuse my review?        17
32. How will I find out the outcome of my review?                                 18
33. Is the review panel’s decision binding on anybody?                            18

AFTER THE REVIEW

34. What should I do after the Clerk informs me of the decision?                  18
35. What can I do if I am unhappy about the review process?                       18
36. What if I think that the decision of the review panel                         19
was wrong in law?

APPENDICES

Appendix 1 – Useful addresses                                                     20
Appendix 2 – How the decision is made                                             21
Appendix 3 – Order of hearing                                                     22




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Introduction
How do I lodge a review and what happens next?

   If you are not happy with the governing body’s decision to uphold your child’s
    permanent exclusion, you have the right to lodge for an Independent Review
    Panel (IRP) hearing to review the decision of the governing body not to reinstate
    your child.

   To lodge a review, the application must be in writing to the Local Authority (LA)
    Exclusion Officer of the Pupil Service’s Section or in the case of an Academy in
    writing to the Academy Trust explaining the reasons for a review, which must be
    made within 15 school days of notice being given to you by the governing body of
    their decision to uphold the permanent exclusion.

   The LA or Academy Trust must not delay or postpone arranging an IRP if you
    also make a claim of discrimination in relation to the exclusion to the First-tier
    Tribunal or the County Court.

   Once your written notification has been received by the LA or the Academy Trust,
    they will acknowledge your receipt in writing.

        At this stage they will not know the date and time of the hearing as this will be
                           arranged by Democratic Service’s Section.

   The LA or the Academy Trust will also notify your representatives or solicitors if
    they are supporting you, and Democratic Service’s Section of your reasons
    requesting a review.

   The LA or the Academy Trust will then forward your child’s exclusion file to
    your representatives or solicitors if they are supporting you, as well as Democratic
    Service’s Section.

         This section is responsible for timetabling and making the arrangements for
                                      the review hearing.

   Your review hearing will be heard within 15 school days of your application
    being lodged.

   The review hearing will be heard at the Town Hall in East Ham.

   As the hearing arrangements are organised by Democratic Service’s Section, they
    will contact you, the excluding school, your representatives or solicitors by
    telephone to arrange an appropriate time and date within the 15 school days.

   Once the time and date has been agreed by all parties, Democratic Service’s
    Section will send you a letter acknowledging the application and the other parties
    involved, a set of papers 5 school days in advance of the review (detailed within
    question 12 of this guide).



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   Newham will provide a free language interpreter if you need one.

          If you wish to have a language interpreter to assist you with any language
          difficulties at the review hearing, please ensure you make it clear on your
                   written submission or inform the Clerk by word of mouth.

   Please also state which language you require.

   Democratic Service’s Section will arrange for an interpreter from the Newham
    Language Shop.

       If you do not do this and you need an interpreter, the hearing may have to be
       deferred to another date so that an interpreter can be arranged.

   Before the review we strongly recommend that you prepare your own case and
    make notes so you do not forget anything you need to say.

   On the day of the hearing make sure you give yourself sufficient time to get to the
    Town Hall in East Ham.

   Ensure that you relax, stay calm and try not to worry.

       If the LA or Academy Trust does not receive in writing your application for a
       review or any application made outside of the legal time frame which is 15
       school days, the application must be rejected.

Who is at the Review Hearing?

1. Who will be at the review hearing?

   You and your partner; friend; supporter; representative or legal adviser; and, if
    you wish, your son/daughter. If you wish to bring more than one representative
    you will need to notify the Clerk in advance in order that the IRP’s agreement can
    be sought.

   The IRP. This will always be three members.

   The Clerk to the review panel.

   If attending, the legal or other representative of the governing body.

   The Head teacher.

   Any witnesses called by either the school or by you.

   SEN expert.

   If attending, the education officer from the LA.



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    If attending, and where relevant, the alleged victim or his/her representative may
     be present for part of the review hearing.

    The interpreter, if you have requested one.

             Please note the interpreter is there to interpret your case. They are not
                          permitted to argue your case on your behalf.

                           Sometimes there is also an observer.

    This may be someone from the Administrative, Justice and Tribunals Council, the
    body that has a supervisory role in review hearings; or it may be someone who is
    training to be a review panel member or review Clerk or a new member of Pupil
                                    Service’s Section.

         The representative of the Administrative, Justice and Tribunals Council
           has a legal right to be present; otherwise you will be asked if you object
              to an observer being present for any part of your review hearing.

About the Review Panel

2. Who are the Independent Review Panel members?

The IRP will have 3 or 5 members (in Newham it is generally 3).

                 In Newham every effort is made to ensure the panel is a fair
          representative of the local community. This means with have a mix of ages,
                              ethnic backgrounds and genders.

    A lay member of chair the panel who has not worked in any school in a paid
     capacity, disregarding any experience as a school governor or volunteer.

    School governors who have served as a governor for at least 12 consecutive
     months in the last five years, provided they have not been teachers or head
     teachers during this time.

    Head teachers or individuals who have been a head teacher within the last five
     years.

3. Is anyone disqualified from sitting on the review panel?

Yes. The following people cannot sit on the review panel:

    A member/director of the LA/Academy Trust or governing body of the excluding
     school.

    Are the head teacher of the excluding school or anyone who held this position in
     the last five years.



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   Are an employee of the LA/Academy Trust or the governing body, of the
    excluding school (unless they are employed as a head teacher at another school).

   Have, or at any time have had, any connection with the local authority/Academy
    Trust; school; parents or pupil; or the incident leading to the exclusion, which
    might reasonably be taken to raise doubts about their impartially (though an
    individual must not be taken to have such a connection simply because they are a
    head teacher at another school).

   Have not had the required training within the last two years.

4. What powers does the review panel have?

The panel may:

   Uphold the exclusion decision.

   Recommend that the governing body reconsiders their decision.

   Quash the decision and direct that the governing body considers the exclusion
    again.

Other people involved in the Review Hearing
5. What is the role of the Clerk to the review panel?

The LA/Academy Trust may appoint a Clerk to provide advice to the panel and
parties to the review on procedure, legislation and statutory guidance on exclusions.

The Clerk does not have any say at all in the review panel’s decision but is there to:

   Make reasonable efforts to inform the parents, head teacher, governing body and
    LA that they are entitled to make written representations to the panel; attend and
    make oral representations to the panel; be represented or bring a friend.

   Make reasonable efforts to circulate to all parties, including panel members and
    the SEN expert, copies of relevant papers 5 school days in advance of the review.

   Give all parties details of those attending and their role, once the position is clear.

   Attend the review and ensure that minutes are produced in accordance with
    instructions from the panel.

   Record the proceedings, decisions and reasons.

   After the review, notify all concerned of the review panel’s decision.




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6. What is the role of the Head teacher/representative of the school’s governing
body at the review hearing?

The Head teacher or governing body representative is responsible for presenting the
case for the school stating why your son/daughter was permanently excluded and
answering any questions raised by you and the IRP members.

The Head teacher and governing body representative are not involved with the
decision making process of the IRP hearing in any way.

      Also, in the same way that you can ask the Head teacher/governing body
 representative questions about the school’s case, to ensure a fair hearing, (s)he may
                          ask you questions about your case.


7. What is the role of the nominated SEN expert at the review hearing?

If you request for a SEN expert to attend the review hearing, the LA/Academy Trust
must make arrangements and at no cost for you. You have the right to request the
attendance of a SEN expert at a review, regardless of whether the school recognises
that your child has SEN.

Individuals may not serve as a SEN expert if they have, or at any time have had, any
connection with the LA, Academy Trust, school, parents or pupil, or the incident
leading to the exclusion, which might reasonably be taken to raise doubts about their
ability to act impartially. However, an individual is not taken to have such a
connection solely because he or she is an employee of the LA/Academy Trust.

The SEN expert’s role is to provide impartial advice to the panel on how special
educational needs might be relevant to the exclusion. The SEN expert should base
their advice on the evidence provided to the panel. The SEN expert’s role does not
include making an assessment of the pupil’s special educational needs and should not
criticise a school’s policies or actions simply because he or she believes a different
approach should have been followed.

The focus of the SEN expert’s advice should be on whether the school’s policies
which relate to SEN, or the application of these policies in relation to the excluded
pupil, were legal, reasonable and procedurally fair.

Attending the Review Hearing
8. Should I attend the review hearing?

Whilst attendance at the review hearing is not compulsory, it is highly advisable that
you attend. You are the best person to tell the review panel why you think your
son/daughter should not have been permanently excluded and you will be able to
provide information to help the IRP make an informed decision. If you cannot make
the date given, contact Democratic Service’s Section on 0208 430 2000 in advance for
a possible change or deferment. This may not always be possible and will only occur



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if you have a very good reason for needing the change. Reviews will be heard during
term time only and on weekdays during normal office hours.

9. Can I bring someone with me to help present my case?

   Yes. You may bring a member of your family, a friend, a neighbour, a parental
supporter, or a representative along with you, either to help you say what you want or
                    to speak for you or to simply give you support.

You may be represented by a legal or other representative but as this is not a court of
law the IRP aim to keep the review hearing as informal as possible.

Please note that any legal costs incurred by you are not recoverable in any event.

10. Can I bring my son/daughter to the review hearing?

   Your child should be enabled and encouraged to participate at all stages of the
    exclusion process but taking into account of their age and understanding. It is not
    compulsory.

   We also recommend that you do not bring any of your other children to the
    hearing as it may prove difficult for you to present your case and answer questions
    whilst also supervising your child/children.

   However, if you are unable to arrange childcare, you are welcome to bring them to
    the hearing. We would suggest that you bring something to keep them occupied.

11. What happens if I do not attend the hearing?

If at all possible, you should attend and the review date is normally arranged so that
you are able to attend. However, if at the last moment you cannot attend the hearing
for a genuine reason, the IRP will meet and try to adjourn to another date wherever
possible.

It is important that you contact the Clerk to the review panel as soon as possible to
let the Clerk know if you have any problems.


 If you, or someone who can put your case, cannot attend and another date cannot be
arranged, your case will be heard in your absence and your review will be decided on
    the information that is available through your written submission at the hearing.


Preparing for the Review

12. Will I have any information about the governing body’s case before the review
hearing?

Where possible in the given time scales, you will normally be sent a set of papers
5 school days before the appeal hearing which includes:


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   The governing body’s decision.

   Your application for a review.

   Any policies or documents that the governing body was required to have in
    making their decision. This may include any witness statements, written
    statements either by you or the school, school’s behaviour and SEN policy and
    any other relevant documentation.

Please note that it may also include a written statement from the alleged victim or
their representative – see also Question 24.

13. How can I prepare for the review hearing?

You are responsible for presenting your case, for deciding what you would like to say
                               at the review hearing.

So before the review hearing you are advised to:

   Contact Newham Parent Partnership Service (See Appendix 1).

   Contact Coram Children’s Legal Centre (see Appendix 1).

   Contact LA officer (see Appendix 1).

   Think carefully about why you are requesting a review.

   Write down your reasons for the review.

   Practice what you are going to say.

   Send any additional evidence to the Clerk as soon as possible.

   Familiarise yourself with the order of the hearing (see Appendix 3).

   Make a note of any points you would like to raise at the review.

   Make a note of any questions you may have about your review.

   Make sure you have looked at the school’s case papers before the review hearing.

   Make a note of any points you would like to raise with the Head
    teacher/governing body representative about the exclusion.

   Make a note of any questions you would like to ask the Head teacher/governing
    body representative about the exclusion.

   Spend some time deciding what you would like to say when the IRP invites you to
    explain your reasons for the review – it might be helpful to make a note of the


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     main points e.g. any special educational needs and/or medical factors, any
     extenuating or mitigating circumstances, any claims of disability or racial
     discrimination; any factors which you believe the Head teacher or governing body
     did not consider properly.

    Plan your journey to the Town Hall in East Ham so you arrive on time and have
     little time to relax before the hearing starts.

    On the day of the review hearing, bring the paperwork sent to you (normally) 5
     school days before the review; any additional documents which you have not been
     able to submit earlier; any notes of questions you may have; and this guidance.

    Stay calm and relax.

14. How long does review hearing take?

It is difficult to say exactly but it can normally be at least the morning and often
continues in the afternoon because it is a new hearing and the IRP will look at all the
evidence and the circumstances of your son’s/daughter’s case.

    You are advised to arrive at Newham Town Hall in East Ham at least 15 minutes
     before the time shown on your letter as the Clerk will speak to you before your
       review starts in case you have any last minute queries about anything at all.


What happens at the Review Hearing?

15. What will happen at the review hearing?

We try to make review hearings as informal as possible and, to ensure that both sides
have the same opportunity to speak, the IRP will normally follow the order of hearing
shown on Appendix 3.

No one other than the Clerk will be left alone with the review panel in the absence of
                             all other people involved.




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16. Does the review panel ever adjourn the hearing?

Yes. The IRP may adjourn the hearing to later in the same day or another day in the
following circumstances:

   If substantial new issues are raised for the first time at the hearing it may be
    necessary to adjourn to allow any party taken by surprise to consider the issues.

   If a lot of additional information is submitted on the day of the hearing and it is in
    the best interests of both parties that the IRP ensures it gives full consideration to
    the new information.

   If the IRP requires further information to be obtained.

   If it takes longer than anticipated to deal with the case, the IRP may have to
    adjourn the hearing to another day.

   If an IRP member is ill or absent.

   Where there are parallel criminal proceedings, the IRP may adjourn the hearing –
    for more information see next question.

   Where a SEN expert has been requested but is not present, you have the right to
    request that the review is adjourned until such time as an SEN expert can attend.

   For any other appropriate reason.

Please note that, if necessary, the IRP may adjourn more than once.

17. Why would the review panel adjourn the hearing if there were parallel criminal
proceedings?

Where a school related incident is also the subject of a police investigation which may
result in criminal proceedings, the evidence available to the IRP may be very limited.
For example:

   They may not be able to hear evidence from relevant witnesses.

   They may not be able to consider relevant material.

   It may not be known whether a criminal charge is to be brought.

   If a charge has been brought, the eventual outcome may be uncertain.

Therefore, at the hearing the IRP must consider, taking into account any
representations made by you and the other parties and on the advice of the
Clerk, whether the IRP can hear the review or whether it should adjourn the hearing
pending the outcome of any police investigation and/or any criminal proceedings that
may be brought.


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The fact that parallel criminal proceedings are in progress will not necessarily mean
that the review hearing will be adjourned therefore the IRP will consider the relevant
factors.

                      Relevant factors for the IRP to consider are:

    Whether it would be helpful to know what charge, if any, is to be brought against
                       your son/daughter and what the charge is.

    Please note - If there is no charge it may help your child’s case or, if a charge is
        brought, you son/daughter may be inhibited in presenting his/her case.

                 Whether relevant witnesses and documents are available.

    The likelihood of delay if the hearing was adjourned and the effect it may have on
                    any alleged victim, your son/daughter or the school.

Whether an adjournment or, as the case may be, declining to adjourn, might result in
                                    injustice.



18. What happens next if the IRP adjourns the review hearing because of parallel
criminal proceedings?

   The LA should take steps to ensure your son’s/daughter’s continuing education
    pending the hearing.

   The IRP’s Clerk will be responsible for monitoring the progress of any police
    investigation and/or criminal proceedings and for reconvening the IRP at the
    earliest opportunity.

19. Once the criminal proceedings have been disposed of, what account does the
IRP have to take of them when deciding on the review?

The IRP should have regard to any information about the criminal proceedings that
are relevant to the issues the IAP has to decide upon.

Even if your son/daughter has been acquitted of any charge relating to the behaviour
for which he/she was excluded, the acquittal may be due to a legal technicality or the
 stricter standard of proof in a criminal court. It will not necessarily mean that your
             son/daughter did not do what he/she was alleged to have done.




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20. What should/can I say at the review hearing?

It is very important that you, or your representative, tell the IRP everything that is
relevant to your case. The review is confidential so please feel free to say whatever
you need to.

    The members of the IRP and the Clerk want to be certain that you do not leave your
                    review thinking that things have been left unsaid.

    The members of the IRP have to make their decision on what information they have
     been given; so make sure you tell them what is relevant and important about your
                                           case.


21. Can I bring any witnesses?

Yes you can, subject to the following:

     If your witness is a pupil at the school they may only attend if they do so
      voluntarily and with their parent’s consent. It will normally be more appropriate
      for the IRP to rely on written statements.

     If you want character witnesses, it is at the discretion of the IRP but will normally
      be allowed unless there is good reason to refuse.

     Any witnesses who attend the review must be prepared to answer any questions.

     It is for the IRP to decide whether any witnesses should stay for the rest of the
      hearing.

22. Will the school bring any witnesses?

The school may wish to call witnesses who saw the incident that gave rise to the
exclusion. They may include any alleged victim(s), any witnesses to the alleged
incident(s), or any teacher, other than the Head teacher, who investigated the incident
and interviewed pupils.




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23. Can the alleged victim, or his/her representative, attend the review hearing?

The Clerk should try to ascertain whether an alleged victim, if there is one, wishes to
be given a voice at the review. This could be in person, through a representative or by
submitting a written statement.

24. What evidence does the school produce at the IRP hearing?

Where the school’s case rests largely or solely on physical evidence, and where you
dispute the facts, then if practicable the physical evidence should have been retained
by the school and available to the IRP.

Where there have been difficulties in retaining physical evidence, photographs, or
signed witness statements are acceptable.

All written witness statements should be attributed and signed, unless the school has
good reason to protect the anonymity of witnesses, in which case the statement should
at least be dated and labelled in a way that allows it to be distinguished from other
statements.


    The general principle is that excluded pupils are entitled to know the substance
                        behind the reason for their exclusion.



25. What consideration must the IRP give to written statements?

The IRP must consider:

   What weight to attach to written and oral statements whether made by pupils or
    adults.

   That a written statement may not include all the relevant issues nor can the person
    be questioned about what they have written.

26. Can new evidence be put forward?

All parties may put forward new evidence about the event that led to the exclusion.
This may include evidence that was not previously available to the Head teacher or
the governing body.

             The school may not introduce new reasons for the exclusion.




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27. How does the IRP consider my review if I believe that my son/daughter has
been excluded for a reason related to his/her disability?

In considering these reviews, the IRP must take into account the Equality Act 2010
however where there is an allegation of discrimination in relation to the permanent
exclusion, you can make a separate claim to the First-tier Tribunal.

28. How does the IAP consider my review if I believe that my son/daughter has
been discriminated against in his/her exclusion on racial grounds?

In considering these reviews, the IRP must take into account the Equality Act 2010
however where there is an allegation of discrimination in relation to the permanent
exclusion, you can make a separate claim to a County Court.

29. Why does the Chairperson or Clerk ask if we have had a fair opportunity to put
our case?

The members of the IRP and the Clerk want to be sure that you and the school feel
that you have had the opportunity to present your case in the way you wanted to. They
also want to be sure that you both feel you have been treated fairly and that the IRP
has listened to you.

 If you do not think that this is the case, please tell the Chairperson so that it can be
put right immediately. It is very important that you leave the room satisfied you have
            said everything and feeling that you have been treated fairly.


The Review Panel’s decision

30. What does the IRP have to take into account in coming to it’s decision about my
review?

          The law requires the IRP to have regard to any guidance given by the
    Secretary of State for the DfE. However, the Court of Appeal has clarified that the
      IRP must not slavishly follow that guidance where there is good reason not to.


The IRP will take into account:

    Illegality – did the head teacher and/or governing body act outside the scope of
     their legal powers in taking the decision to exclude.

    Irrationally – was the decision of the governing body not to reinstate the pupil so
     unreasonable that it was not one a sensible person could have made.

    Procedural impropriety – was the process of exclusion and the governing body’s
     consideration so unfair or flawed that justice was clearly not done.




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    The jurisdiction of the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and
     Disability) and County Court to hear claims of discrimination relating to a
     permanent exclusion does not preclude an independent review panel from
     considering issues of discrimination in reaching its decision.


    The IRP must consider the interests and circumstances of the excluded pupil,
including the circumstances in which the pupil was excluded, and have regard to the
             interests of other pupils and people working at the school.


31. How does the IRP decide whether to allow or refuse my review?

The IRP will make its decision in the following way:

FIRST:

1 The IRP has to decide, on the balance of probabilities, whether your son/daughter
has done what he/she is alleged to have done. If more than one incident of
misconduct is alleged, the IRP must decide on each incident.

       The IRP must apply the Civil Law standard of proof i.e. on the balance of
 probabilities. However, where the alleged incident is serious, case law requires that
   proof should not be on the ordinary balance of probabilities but that it should be
   distinctly more probable than not that the child has done what has been alleged.


THEN:

2 If not satisfied that your son/daughter has done what has been alleged, the IRP will
quash the decision and direct that the governing body considers the exclusion again
meaning your child no longer has a permanent exclusion record but will be the
responsibility of the governing body to decide whether to offer reinstatement within
10 school days of being given notice of the panel’s decision. However, the IRP may
also recommend the governing body reconsiders their decision – see 4.

OR

3 If satisfied that your son/daughter has done what has been alleged and taking into
account the factors in the Question 30, the IRP will uphold the exclusion decision
meaning your review was not successful.

4 The IRP does not have the power to direct a governing body to reinstate an excluded
pupil. If they recommend the governing body reconsiders their decision, and the
governing body refuse to reinstate within 10 school days of being given notice of the
panel’s decision, your review was not successful. If the governing body offer
reinstatement your child will no longer have a permanent exclusion record.




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32. How will I find out the outcome of my review?

The Clerk will send you a letter that sets out the reasons for the IRP’s decision, which
will be sent by the end of the second working day after the conclusion of the hearing.

33. Is the IRP’s decision binding on anybody?

Yes. You, your child, the governing body, the Head teacher and the LA/Academy
Trust are bound by the IRP’s decision.

After the Review
34. What should I do after the Clerk informs me of the decision?

It depends on whether or not the IRP has quashed the decision and directed the
governing body considers the exclusion again:

   If your review has been successful and the governing body has offered your child
    reinstatement within 10 school days since the notice of the hearing, you should
    contact the Head teacher as soon as possible. If the governing body refuse to
    reinstate your child within 10 school days since the notice of the hearing, your
    child must continue to attend the education provision that has already been
    provided by the LA and contact the Exclusion Officer of Pupil Service’s Section
    to find out what new provision has been arranged.

   If the IRP recommend the governing body reconsiders the exclusion again and
    your child is offered reinstatement within 10 school days since the notice of the
    hearing, you should contact the Head teacher as soon as possible. However, if the
    governing body refuse to reinstate your child within 10 school days since the
    notice of the hearing, your child must continue to attend the education provision
    that has already been provided by the LA and contact the Exclusion Officer of
    Pupil Service’s Section to find out what new provision has been arranged.

   Also, if your review has not been successful your child must continue to attend
    the education provision that has already been provided by the LA.

35. What can I do if I am unhappy about the review process?

If you think that the proper procedures have not been followed you can ask the
Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) to investigate. This is not a right of review as
the LGO can only investigate written complaints about maladministration on the part
of the IRP.

Maladministration means that there has been a fault in the way something has been
done or not done. It has to relate to issues, such as, you believe the IRP has not been
properly set up or has not followed procedures correctly. On the other hand, the LGO
would not criticise the decision of the IRP, which fairly took into account all the
evidence presented by both the parents and other parties to the review, just because
the parents disagreed with the decision reached.



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  If, following investigations, the LGO finds there has been maladministration that
 might have caused you an injustice, one of the remedies sometimes suggested is that
     there should be a fresh review hearing with different review panel members.


36. What if I think that the decision of the review panel was wrong in law?

If you or the governing body, consider that the decision of the IRP is legally in error,
either of you could apply for a judicial review.

If a judicial review were granted, the Court would consider the lawfulness of the
IRP’s decision. If it found the IRP’s decision to be unlawful or unreasonable
(irrational or perverse in the legal sense), it could overturn the decision, or it could
order that a fresh review hearing be set up with new review panel members.


  If any party to the review wishes to consider this course of action they should take
     independent legal advice as soon as possible as normally there is a time limit.




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APPENDIX 1: Useful addresses

Enquiries about this guidance and the review process in Newham should be
addressed to:

Pupils Service’s Section
PO Box 69972
E16 9DG
Tel: 0208 430 2000
Email: patrick.grant@newham.gov.uk

Newham Parent Partnership Service
Tel: 0208 470 9703

Coram Children’s Legal Centre
Tel: 08088 020 008
Website: www.childrenslegalcentre.com

Committee and Partnership Team (Legal and Democratic Service’s Section)
Newham Dockside
1000 Dockside Road
London
E16 2QU
Tel: 0208 430 2000

The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Coventry
CV4 0EH
Tel: 0300 061 0614 (Mon – Fri 8.30am to 5pm)
Website: www. lgo.org.uk
Email: advice@lgo.org.uk (only for enquiries, if you have a complaint, use the
complaint form or ring the advice team)




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APPENDIX 2: How the decision is made – see question 31


                             Is the IRP satisfied that the pupil
                             has done what has been alleged?




                      No                                       Yes




          Should GB reconsider their
          decision?



    No                                 Yes




       Review quashed                  Review upheld, pupil not successful.
       and GB directed to
       consider exclusion
       again.



     If GB refuses to reinstate pupil within
     10 school days, an adjustment may be
     made to the schools budget in the
     sum of £4K to the alternative
     provision/new school.




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APPENDIX 3: Order of hearing

     Chair introduces the review panel and outlines the procedure to be followed and
                        how the review panel will make its decision.

                                       Case for the School

     The governing body’s representative / Head teacher will present the case for the
                                        school.

The governing body / Head teacher may wish to call witnesses who saw the incident
   or behaviour, which gave rise to the exclusion. They may include any alleged
     victim(s), any witnesses, or any teacher (other than the Head teacher) who
                  investigated the incident and interviewed pupils.

                                            Questions

 If attending in person, the alleged victim (or representative) will solely talk about
what impact the incident has had on them OR the written representation will be read
                                   out by the Clerk.

                                            Questions

                                  Case for your son/daughter

   You, or your representative, will present your case. You may wish to call any
witnesses who have come to support your case. If present, your child may also speak
                        on his/her own behalf at this stage.

                                            Questions

                                            SEN expert

 The SEN expert provides impartial advice to the panel on how special educational
                    needs might be relevant to the exclusion.

                                            Questions

                                  Summing Up – School’s case

                          Main points of the case summarised.
                   NB If new issues are raised – go back to questions.

                                   Summing Up – Your case

                          Main points of the case summarised.
                   NB If new issues are raised – go back to questions.




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