This Quick Guide sets out the law and practice relating to a governing board’s duty to reconsider a permanent exclusion after an IRP.
For information on what steps to take if the independent review panel quashes the exclusion, or recommends reconsideration of it, see the Step-by-Step Guide: After the independent review panel
The governing board's responsibilities before reconsideration
Paragraph 258 of the exclusions guidance requires that the governing board meet to reconsider the exclusion within 10 school days of the independent review panel giving notice of their decision to either quash the exclusion or recommend reconsideration of it. Notice is deemed to have been given on the day of delivery if it is delivered directly or on the second working day after posting if it is sent by first-class mail.
This reconsideration does not have to be a hearing, like the original governing board review of the exclusion. The governing board do not need to inform the family when the reconsideration will take place or invite them to it. While the family can request to attend, there is no requirement that they be allowed to do so.
The governing board's responsibilities to reconsider
The governing board's reconsideration will be a process of considering the exclusion again, with the benefit of commentary from the IRP. It is important that the governing board conscientiously reconsider whether the pupil should be reinstated, whether the panel has directed or merely recommended it to do so. While the governing board may still reach the same conclusion as it first did, it may face challenges in court if it refuses to reinstate the pupil without strong justification. In coming to a conclusion, the governing board will need to be careful to account for any flaws in their previous decision-making highlighted by the IRP and should account for any decision that departs from the findings of the independent review panel by giving detailed reasoning.
The governing board's responsibilities after reconsideration
After reconsideration of the exclusion, the governing board must come to one of three decisions. They can either uphold the exclusion, reinstate the young person with immediate effect, or reinstate the young person on a particular date. The decision must be communicated to the family, the headteacher, and any relevant local authority "without delay".
If the exclusion was quashed by the IRP but, on reconsideration, the governing board upholds it anyway, the local authority will expect to make a financial adjustment to the school’s budget of £4,000. If the school is an academy, then the money will be paid directly to the local authority in which the school sits.
After reconsideration, if the exclusion is upheld, then the school will be expected to remove the young person’s name from the register unless there is an ongoing claim for discrimination in the First Tier Tribunal or County Court.
The governing board should note the outcome of its consideration on the pupil's educational record, and copies of relevant papers should be kept with the educational record.