Children with SEND can be excluded for all the same reasons as children without SEND, either for a fixed term, or permanently. However schools may not exclude a child because they cannot meet their needs, or for other reason related to their disability. For example it is not legal to do the following, unless they are formally recorded as exclusions, or occur with the agreement of the family that it is in the child’s best interests in the short term:
- only offer a part time placement to a child with SEND
- send a child home to cool off after a meltdown
- exclude from a school trip
- ask a child to go home if their teaching assistant is absent
If you are asked to collect your child at lunchtime
There may be times when the school will ask you to collect your child at lunchtime. As a 'one off' this may resolve a specific incident. However, if you are being asked to do this on a regular basis, it should only be as part of an agreed arrangement to provide support for your child. The head teacher should tell you how many days they want your child to go home for lunch and what arrangements they intend to put in place to enable your child to stay for lunch in future.
If this is not provided then this means your child has been excluded from school at lunchtime, which should be recorded as a half day exclusion.
Dealing with frequent exclusions from school
If the number of days adds up to five days exclusion (ten lunchtimes) or more then you can ask to meet the governors.
If you or your school are concerned about your child's behaviour, the school should arrange a meeting to draw up a plan that will detail the support your child needs to help them. This plan might be an individual education plan or a pastoral support plan.
The Ladder of Intervention provides a structured step by step guide for schools to support individual pupils who have social and emotional needs which may result in behaviour that challenges them which in turn can trigger exclusions. It provides guidance on a graduated response to ensure early help is in place to support children and young people at with social, emotional and mental health needs, including those that are at risk of exclusion. Ask your school special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) or inclusion manager about this.
Some students may require alternative provision to enhance and support what the school can offer. Our SEND education provision in North Yorkshire directory can help schools and commissioners find suitable provision that meets the need of children and young people who are unable to access mainstream education.
The plan should include details of how your child will be helped to achieve targets that are agreed at the meeting. It should list people who will be involved and explain what everyone, including you and your child, will do. It should also include a date for reviewing the plan.
Complain or appeal about the school's decision
You can find full information here about what to do if you are not happy with the way the school is dealing with your child's needs.
- see the GOV.UK school and college behaviour and attendance
- the National Autistic Society has information about exclusion, not only relating to autism but all SEND
- there is also information available from the Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA)