Suspension or permanent exclusion of looked-after children
Exclusion of looked-after children is an absolute last resort. The Department for Education states that education is an important protective factor for these children. See: School exclusions | GOV.UK
School provides a safe space for children to access support. They are visible to professionals and can realise their potential.
Children who are not in school are vulnerable to harm. Exclusion can also place a strain on care placements. This can lead to the child losing their home.
Suspensions and exclusions can be prevented through:
- partnership working between schools and the Virtual School
- personal education planning for looked-after children
What to do if you are considering exclusion
Discuss your concerns with your Virtual School caseworker so that appropriate support can be put in place.
Read the statutory guidance on School suspensions and permanent exclusions | GOV.UK
This explains what to consider before deciding to exclude pupils who have a social worker, including looked-after and previously-looked after children.
East Sussex County Council also offers supplementary Exclusions guidance.
Inform the Virtual School
The Virtual School should be included in all correspondence about suspension or permanent exclusion of a looked-after child.
If it is not possible to avoid suspension or exclusion, you must email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following items attached:
- The letter sent to the child's parents or carers.
- A completed Exclusion notification form (EXNO1)
A change of school, except at usual age of transfer, should be avoided if possible. Authorisation for any change must be agreed by the Virtual School head.
Discussions about changing school should involve the child's current school, social worker and carers, as well as the Virtual School.
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