Bookmark and Share

Proposed new exclusions guidance

The consultation (tinyurl.com/u8erpsxk) on the proposed new statutory guidance on school suspensions and exclusions has now ended and we expect the final version to be published in the coming months. The guidance will come into force for all suspensions and exclusion decisions from September 2022. 

The proposed changes largely reflect the recommendations set out in the Timpson Review of School Exclusions (published in May 2019) – see tinyurl.com/3f3d4bvn. Although the overarching framework of exclusion reviews remains the same (by governors and an independent panel), proposed changes include:

  • a change of terminology from ‘fixed term exclusion’ to ‘suspension’
  • the removal of the headteacher’s right to withdraw a suspension or exclusion
  • a greater emphasis on governing boards’ responsibilities in reviewing exclusions data, obtaining training and challenging headteachers
  • a greater emphasis on pre-exclusion considerations and the use of directing pupils to be educated off-site to improve behaviour as a preventative strategy
  • a narrower interpretation of managed moves than that currently understood by the sector
  • a greater role for virtual school heads and social workers
  • greater clarity around timescales
  • the right of the governing board to reinstate for any length of suspension 

Given the greater emphasis on pre-exclusion considerations and the proposed changes to the current behaviour guidance (tinyurl.com/29jsfb32) schools will need to think about their current policies and practice and whether they remain fit for purpose come September.