Independent Review Panel

If Governors uphold the Headteacher's decision to permanently exclude a pupil, parents/carers, even if they do not attend the Governors disciplinary meeting, have the right of appeal to an Independent Review Panel.

Whether or not a school recognises that a pupil has special educational needs (SEN), all parents (or pupils if aged 18 or over) have the right to request the presence of a SEN expert at an independent review panel. The SEN expert’s role is to provide impartial advice to the panel about how SEN could be relevant to the exclusion; for example, whether the school acted reasonably in relation to its legal duties when excluding the pupil.

The Independent Review Panel can either

  • Uphold the exclusion
  • Recommend the Governing Body reconsiders their decision or
  • Quash the decision and direct the Governing Body to consider the exclusion again

Where there is an allegation of discrimination (under the Equality Act 2010) in relation to a fixed-period or permanent exclusion, parents/carers can also make a claim to the First-tier Tribunal (SEND), for disability discrimination or a County Court, for other forms of discrimination. Parents/carers can go to SEND before or after they go to an Independent Review Panel.

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