At SMS Changing Lives we strive to ensure that all students are given the best opportunities to learn and grow through education at our provision.
Whilst we ensure we show the highest level of support and understanding for the students pathways at SMS, we also must consider thresholds for when it may be necessary and appropriate to exclude a student from school.
SMS Changing Lives School is committed to being a fully accessible and inclusive organisation, welcoming and respecting the diversity of its students, staff, community and visitors to the school.
We have an overall aim of reducing the need to use exclusion as a sanction and we employ the following values when using this policy.
- The exclusions process is applied fairly and consistently
- The exclusions process is understood by the proprietor, senior leaders, teaching and support staff, parents and students
- Students in school are safe and happy
- Students do not become NEET (not in education, employment or training)
This policy will also inform and link with the following;
- School Behaviour Policy
- SEND Policy
- LAC policy
The Decision to Exclude
At SMS Changing Lives School, only the headteacher, or a person acting with the headteacher’s authority, can exclude a student from school. A student may be excluded for one or more fixed periods up to a maximum of 45 school days in a single academic year), or permanently. A permanent exclusion will be taken as a last resort.
A decision to exclude a student will be taken only:
- In response to a serious or persistent breach of the school’s behaviour policy. (See SMS Changing Lives School Fixed Term Exclusion Policy August 2023)
- If allowing the student to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of pupil or others.
Before deciding whether to exclude a student, either permanently or for a fixed period, the headteacher or a designated senior leader will:
- Consider all the relevant facts and evidence
- Allow the students to give their version of events
- Consider the Special Educational Needs and long term impact of the student when deciding the length of exclusion.
Exclusion, whether fixed term or permanent, may be used for any of the following, all of which constitute examples of unacceptable conduct, and are infringements of the School’s Behaviour Policy:
- Verbal abuse to staff or peers
- Physical abuse to/attack on staff or peers.
- Indecent behaviour
- Damage to property / Theft
- Misuse of illegal drugs or other substances including supplying these
- Serious actual or threatened violence against another pupil or a member of staff.
The decision to exclude at SMS Changing Lives will be taken when crisis intervention strategies have been used and have seen no modified behaviour from the student.
The Headteacher is permitted to exclude a pupil for one or more fixed term periods not exceeding 45 school days in any one school year.
During the course of a fixed term exclusion where the student is to be at home, parents/carers are advised that the student is not allowed on the school premises, and that daytime supervision is their responsibility as parents/carers.
Following DFE guidance, school is obliged to provide full-time education from the sixth day of an exclusion.
The school will provide education by working with:
- The Local Authority
- Other organisations deemed appropriate by the school. The school will liaise with the outside education provider to ensure that the student continues with their programme of study. In most cases, the school will set the work to be completed and ensure that it is completed appropriately.
The decision to exclude a student permanently whilst at SMS Changing Lives is a very serious one.
There are two main types of situation in which permanent exclusion may be considered.
The first is a final, formal step in a process for dealing with disciplinary issues following the use of a wide range of other strategies, which have been used without success over a period of time.
It is an acknowledgement that all available strategies have been exhausted and is used as a last resort.
This would include persistent and defiant misbehaviour e.g. repeated bullying (which could include racist or homophobic bullying) or repeated possession and/or use of an illegal drug on school premises.
The second is where there are exceptional circumstances and it is not appropriate to implement other strategies and where it could be appropriate to permanently exclude a student for a first or ‘one-off’ offence.
These might include:
- Serious actual or threatened violence against another student or a member of staff.
- Sexual abuse or assault.
- Supplying an illegal drug.
- Carrying an offensive weapon*.
The Proprietor and headteacher in consultation with the senior leadership team at SMS Changing Lives will consider police involvement for any of the above offences.
* Offensive weapons are defined in the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 as “any article made or adapted for causing injury to the person; or intended by the person having it with him for such use by him/her.