Paragraph 112 of the exclusions guidance makes it clear that the governing board should not discuss the exclusion with anyone outside of the hearing.
If the headteacher and school staff are already present in the room at the start of the hearing or they remain behind when the family is asked to leave, this may constitute an unfair process because the school is having access to the governing board in confidence, which may indicate bias and/or an abuse of process. Where the appearance of bias exists, that is enough to jeopardise the legal standing of the governing board's decision-making because justice must not just be done but be seen to be done.
Consider the records of the governing board hearing and speak with the family.
Answer the question: Did the governing board and the school speak about, or appear to speak about, the exclusion without the family being present?
If the answer is yes, consider using the Suggested Wording document: Argument to the IRP: Governing board's decision unfair (private conversations)
Once you have answered this question, click continue to proceed to the next step.