General rewards and sanctions
The Trust encourages the establishment of good teacher/learner relationships and support for the Trust’s values through a system of recognitions and rewards which are designed to promote a calm, disciplined learning environment. Where a learner’s behaviour falls below the standard expected and/or a learner fails to comply with the Trust’s Behaviour Policy, an appropriate sanction will be applied.
Sanctions for breaches of discipline
The teacher is responsible in the first instance for dealing with minor infringements, such as lateness, casual rudeness in class, late or poorly completed work. This is dealt with through the Trust’s Power of Choice Reward system. The learner may be brought back at break time and/or lunch break or another time during the academy day to be placed in an Academic Detention. The Head of School may issue an exclusion (permanent or suspension) for a learner, for very serious indiscipline, or for less serious offences where behaviour issues have been repeated. The nature of the exclusion will be determined by the circumstances of the learner concerned. If a suspension is ineffective, the Academy may decide to permanently exclude the learner.
- Suspension is where a learner is excluded for a fixed number of days and must return to the academy once the exclusion has ended. A decision to exclude for a fixed period should be taken only in response to breaches of the trust's behaviour policy, where these are not serious enough to warrant permanent exclusion and lesser sanctions are considered inappropriate. Following a suspension a reintegration meeting will take place. These meetings will have a positive tone and will identify and record any support needs or tailored intervention required. The learner will have a voice in these meetings, considering the age and their understanding.
- Permanent exclusion means a learner cannot return to the academy they are excluded from unless the academy governing body, or an Independent Appeal Panel, overturns the Head of School’s decision. The decision to exclude permanently is a serious one. It is an acknowledgement by the academy that it has exhausted all available strategies for dealing with the learner and should normally be used as a last resort.
Suspensions are limited to a cumulative total of 45 days in any one academic year (lunchtime exclusions count as half days). This total applies to the child and not to the academy they
Deciding whether to suspend or permanently exclude
Only the Head of School can suspend or permanently exclude a learner from school on
disciplinary grounds. The decision can be made in respect of behaviour inside or outside of
school. The Head of School will only use permanent exclusion as a last resort.
A decision to suspend or exclude a learner will be taken only:
- In response to serious or persistent breaches of the school’s behaviour policy, and
- If allowing the learner to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of others
Before deciding whether to suspend or exclude a learner, the Head of School will:
- Consider all the relevant facts and evidence on the balance of probabilities, including whether the incident(s) leading to the exclusion were provoked
- Allow the learner to give their version of events
- Consider the learners special educational needs (SEN)
- Consider whether the learner is especially vulnerable (e.g. the pupil has a social worker, or is a looked-after child (LAC))
- Consider whether all alternative solutions have been explored, such as off-site direction or bespoke offer
The Head of School will consider the views of the learner, in light of their age and understanding, before deciding to suspend or exclude, unless it would not be appropriate to do so.
Learners who need support to express their views will be allowed to have their views expressed through an advocate, such as a parent or social worker.
The Head of School will not reach their decision until they have heard from the learner, and will inform the learner of how their views were taken into account when making the decision.
Informing of an suspension or permanent exclusion
If the Head of School decides to fix term exclude or permanently exclude a learner, the parents will be informed of the period of the exclusion and the reason(s) for it, without delay, ideally by phone. The parents will also be provided with the following information in writing, without delay:
- The reason(s) for the suspend or permanently exclude
- The length of the suspension or, for a permanent exclusion, the fact that it is permanent
- Information about parents’ right to make representations about the suspension or permanent exclusion to the governing board and how the pupil may be involved in this
- How any representations should be made
- Where there is a legal requirement for the governing board to hold a meeting to consider the reinstatement of a pupil, and that parents have a right to attend the meeting, be represented at the meeting (at their own expense) and to bring a friend
The Head of School will also notify parents without delay and by the end of the afternoon on the first day their child is suspended or permanently excluded, that:
- For the first 5 school days of an exclusion, the parents are legally required to ensure that their child is not present in a public place during school hours without a good reason. This will include specifying on which days this duty applies
- Parents may be given a fixed penalty notice or prosecuted if they fail to do this
Rights of appeal
The Trust Board of Directors must consider any views you wish to make about the exclusion. You can put your views:
- In a written statement for all exclusions and/or
- In person, for permanent exclusions and fixed period exclusions totalling more than 5 days in a term. You can take a friend or legal representative with you, someone whose advice you would find helpful or who can speak on your behalf. Excluded children under the age of 18 should be allowed and encouraged to attend the meeting.
Details of how you can have your say to the Trust Board of Directors will be sent to you in the exclusion notification letter. Learners who are aged 18 or over can make their own representations.