DfE updates its statutory guidance on school suspensions and permanent exclusions

Posted on June 19th, 2023

New guidance has been issued by the DfE to support schools and academies dealing with suspension and permanent exclusion.

The main changes include:

  • Guidance on a headteacher’s ability to cancel an exclusion before a governing board meeting to consider reinstatement.
  • Allowing governing board reinstatement meetings and independent review panels (IRPs) to be held remotely (virtually) if certain conditions are met.

Updated guidance to the Suspension and Permanent Exclusion guidance in 2022 includes:

  • The headteacher notifying the parents and, if the pupil has a social worker or is looked-after, notifying their social worker or VSH, without delay of the suspension or exclusion.
  • Headteachers must notify the local authority (LA) without delay of a suspension or exclusion regardless of the length of the suspension.
  • Guidance on the role of social workers and the VSH at governing board meetings.
  • Guidance on managed moves.
  • Clarified guidance on the use of off-site direction as a short-term measure.
  • Guidance on involving pupils and encouraging their participation at all stages of the suspension or exclusion process.
  • Guidance for governing boards to review the data to consider the level of pupil moves and the characteristics of pupils who have been permanently excluded to ensure the sanction is only used as a last resort.

The new guidance comes into force from September 2023 and the full guidance can be found at School suspensions and permanent exclusions.

At CEFM we have updated our policies and procedures to reflect the above changes.

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The behaviour, suspension and exclusion section of our CEFMi website contains model policies, information and related model letters and forms. Get a free trial of CEFMi – a comprehensive resource for school managers containing over 7,000 pages of text, including over 170 policies written specifically for schools.