Following news that even violent assault is unlikely to keep a child excluded from school anymore, illustrated by several recent cases in the South-east, it appears that school governors are increasingly overturning head-teachers decisions to exclude dangerous and violent children from the classroom and the rules, as they should be applied appear further below.
A recent study has shown that England's classrooms are among the world's most violent, with the nation coming 36th out of 45 in a league table of school safety.
Call me old-fashioned, but I never thought that school was the place to keep violent children with "issues" because their continued disruptive presence damages the educational prospects of the other children. Sadly, because provision has to be made for the education of such 'lost' children (and there are increasingly more as time passses) and there is no money available for "special" education, the burden of care appears to fall back on the school.
If you had a demonstrably violent colleague in the workplace, would that person be dismissed or would the employer be expected to keep him in place, regardless of any potential risk to the workforce?
How the rules on exclusions work:
• Only the head teacher can exclude a pupil.
• The decision should only be taken where the basic facts have been established on the balance of probabilities.
• It should only be used as a last resort when other strategies have been exhausted.
• Exclusion for a one-off offence is permissible if there has been serious actual or threatened violence, if there has been, sexual abuse, or for supplying drugs or carrying an offensive weapon.
• Permanent exclusions must be ratified by the governing body. The head's decision can be overturned at this stage.
• Parents may contest the decision and take it to the local authority independent appeal panel, made up of between three and five people, including a serving or former school governor and a head teacher who have no connection to the school involved.
• Where cases include very serious one-off offences, persistent and defiant misbehaviour including bullying, or repeated possession and/or use of drugs on school premises, the Secretary of State would "not normally expect" the governing body or appeal panel to reinstate the pupil.