Was the decision unreasonable because it took account of irrelevant information?

Was the decision unreasonable because it took account of irrelevant information?


The governing board should not factor irrelevant information into their decision-making. Any information that does not relate to the lawful tests for permanent exclusion or the determination of relevant factual disputes should be disregarded. If irrelevant information came to their attention during the hearing, they should disregard it and ensure it does not factor into their decision-making.

For example, James is permanently excluded. In supporting her decision, the headteacher says that they were frustrated by the number of calls and emails she received from James's mum. There is no power to exclude based on the parent's behaviour, and so the governors should simply disregard this information.

Even though the governing board does not base their decision entirely on this information, they do consider it, and in their letter confirming their decision, they 'acknowledge' the burden this places on the school. This is likely to mean that the resulting decision is unreasonable.

Next step? 

Consider the letter confirming the governing board's decision and any record of the governing board hearing, including the minutes and your own notes. Then answer the question: Did the governing board consider irrelevant information when coming to their decision to uphold the exclusion?

If the answer is yes, consider using the Suggested Wording document: Argument to the IRP: Governing board's decision unreasonable because it was irrational having considered relevant information

Once you have answered this question, click continue to proceed.



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This information is correct at the time of writing, 5th September 2023. The law in this area is subject to change.

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