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We often receive enquiries from parents or carers asking us for help with questions about their child’s exclusion or looking for an additional help for them.

Although we are always happy to assist in any way we can, you can help us help you by reading through the frequently asked questions below. If your particular query is not covered or you require clarification, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our contact details can be found below and on every page of this web site.

Please note that the information provided below only relates to England and Wales.
What do Fresh Start in Education do?
We are a privately owned national company who work one to one with students who have been excluded or are on the verge of exclusion, to help them re-engage with regular or specialist education.

We are an Interim Provider. We are not a school or an alternative to school.
Fresh Start in Education Ltd, work with children and young people who are out of, or struggling with, education. This includes students who are at risk of exclusion or have already been temporarily or permanently excluded, school refusers, young offenders, those with emotional or behavioural difficulties, SEN, SEMH, serious health issues or those who are generally disengaged from education. We work with all ages from Early Years Foundation to Key Stage 5 and beyond.
Our purpose is to return students to full time specialist or main steam education as soon as is practical. We provide bespoke, person-centred, high quality education, ensuring all students have outstanding opportunities to re-integrate. We provide the encouragement and tools for students to develop and apply the knowledge, skills and understanding, that will enable them in becoming successful at learning, confident as individuals and to live productive and responsible lives.

We work with Local Authorities, Schools, Parents and Carers, going anywhere, anytime, across England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland, to deliver our service wherever the student is.
My child has been or may be excluded from school, what should I do?
If you have not already received any communication, it is important that you contact your child’s school or Local Authority to establish the facts of why your child has been excluded.

The most important thing is to remain calm and to ensure that when you communicate with the School or Local Authority, you have all relevant information to hand and that you know what you want to say and what you want to know. It may help to make notes beforehand and to write down what is said, as this may be a stressful and upsetting time for you, and you may find it difficult to remember everything you are told.
What does Exclusion Mean?
Your child will have been excluded from their school because of unacceptable behaviour. The decision to exclude can only be taken by the Head Teacher or the Deputy Head Teacher in the Head Teacher’s absence.

Schools must always stipulate their reason for excluding a student. They should view exclusion as a last resort, only to be used when all other measures have failed. It is likely that you will have already been involved in discussions with the school about your child’s behaviour.
What types of exclusion can be issued?
Permanent exclusion
Is when the Head Teacher has decided that your child should not return to the school.
Fixed term exclusion
Is for a set number of days, from 1 to 45 school days in an academic year. The number of days will be stated in the letter that the Head Teacher has sent to you. The exclusion is temporary, and your child will return to school at the end of the exclusion. Please note that the number of days stated by the Head Teacher relates only to school days and not weekends, holidays or teacher training days.
Lunchtime exclusion
Is used to exclude your child for the duration of the lunchtime period only. The exclusion is treated as a fixed term exclusion where one lunchtime is equivalent to one half school day.
Please note, exclusions for indefinite periods are illegal.

My child has additional/special needs, can they be excluded?
The reasons for excluding a student with additional or special needs are the same as for any other student, in other words, the Department for Education clearly stipulates that a student can only be legally excluded for disciplinary reasons.

The school has to ensure that excluding a student with Special Educational Needs who is disabled does not amount to unlawful discrimination. If the student is excluded because of behaviour connected with their disability, this may be unlawful discrimination. The school must always be able to justify excluding a student. Most students with Special Educational Needs are disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act 2012. Since September 2012, if a disabled student is excluded, they cannot be reinstated by the independent review panel.

Therefore, a student with Special Educational Needs will be better placed appealing to the First Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) who has the power to reinstate a student to school should they find that they have been discriminated against.

What are the School’s responsibilities?
On the day a student is excluded the school must contact the parents/carers in writing to:

Inform them that their child has been excluded, explaining the reasons for the decision and the type and length of the exclusion. At times, the Schools decision might be subject to further investigations and the exclusion given might not be final. In these cases, the investigation should not take longer than 5 working days and the parents/carers should be informed of the conclusions reached in writing. The School should also have checked with the parents/carers via a telephone call that there are appropriate arrangements for their child’s care before the child is sent home

Arrange a meeting with the parents/carers to discuss the exclusion. The meeting should take place within five working days

Details of the parent’s/carers rights to appeal against the exclusion.

With fixed term exclusions, a reintegration meeting should be arranged. In this meeting, the Head Teacher should:

Clarify any conditions that must be met before your child returns to school

Draft a behavioural contract (including resources and additional support if needed) which both the student and their parent must agree to before the student is reinstated.
What are my responsibilities as a parent?
During the first 5 days of an exclusion (except a lunchtime exclusion as specified above) you must ensure that your child in not in a public place during school hours. If you fail to do so, you will have committed an offence under Section 103(3) of the Education and Inspection Act 2006 and will be liable to a fixed penalty. There is no appeal process, but you have a defence if you can prove you had reasonable justification for your failure to comply.

If the exclusion is permanent or for a fixed term of 6 or more days, you must ensure that your child attends the alternative full-time provision which will be put in place by your Local Authority from the 6th day (again except for lunchtime exclusions). Failure to do so could lead to action being taken against you for the non-attendance.
What can I do to help?
It is important for you to liaise closely with the school. The school should be setting and marking work for your child for up to 5 days in any exclusion.

If you do not agree with the Head Teacher’s decision to exclude, you have the right to state your views to the Governors of the school. This can be done by writing to the Governors via the Clerk to the Governing Body at the School’s address. You also have the right to see your child’s school record, but due to confidentiality restrictions you will need to put your request in writing.

For exclusions of up to 5 days in one School term. You have the right to submit representations to the Governors. The Governors must consider and respond to your representations. You may also request that the Governors meet to discuss the exclusion, but they do not have to.

For exclusions between 6 to 15 days in one school term. You have the right to submit representations to the Governors. You also have the right to request that the Governors meet to discuss the exclusion. If you make this request, the Governors must meet within 50 school days of the date they were notified of the exclusion. The meeting is unlikely to take place before the exclusion ends and the Governors are therefore unlikely to be able to direct reinstatement. However, the meeting can still provide the opportunity for all parties to make their views known. You have the right to present your views both in writing before the meeting and also by speaking at the meeting. The Governors may then add their written views to your child’s school file.

For all exclusions over 15 days in one school term (including permanent exclusions) or where your child will lose the opportunity to take a public examination. The Governors must meet to consider the Head Teacher’s decision to exclude and that meeting must take place between the 6th and 15th school day after the date they were notified of the exclusion.

The Governors will meet at a time convenient to you, school staff, the Local Authority representative and themselves.

If due to the exclusion, your child will miss the opportunity to take a public examination, the time limits do not apply, and the governors should arrange a meeting before the exam.

A friend or relative may accompany you to the meeting to support you. It is advisable that your child attends, although it is recognised that this could be stressful for them.

After listening to the views of all parties, the Governors will reach a final decision.
What decisions can the School Governors make?
The Governors may decide that your child should be reinstated, in which case your child will return to School as soon as possible. 

If the Governors agree with the Head Teacher’s decision regarding a fixed term exclusion, your child will return to school once they have served the number of days or lunchtimes originally stated by the Head Teacher.

If the Governors agree with the Head Teacher’s decision to permanently exclude your child you have the right to request that an Independent Review Panel, or the First Tier Tribunal, if your child has Special Educational Needs, review the decision. Details of how to do this should be given in the Governors’ decision letter sent to you after the meeting. The decision of the Independent Review Panel, or the First Tier Tribunal, is final. If your child remains permanently excluded at the end of process, the Local Authority will be responsible for making suitable educational provision.
My child was sent home, but I haven’t been told they were excluded.
Some Schools may fail to follow the Department for Education guidance when dealing with disciplinary matters and may choose to describe removing your child from school as follows: 

‘Informal’ exclusion
A cooling off period
Sent home early
Student ‘can’t cope’ with a full day
Short- term suspension.

Although these are examples of fixed term exclusions, Schools don’t always treat them as such. However, Schools should record them as exclusions and follow the proper procedures.

If you think your child has been illegally excluded, you should ask the School why your child was removed and insist that the correct procedures are followed. You can ask for a copy of the School’s and, or Local Authorities’ policy on exclusion and write to both your Local Authority and the School’s Governing Body with your concerns.
What if my child is offered part time education?
Part time education can be put in place only when:

Parents agree to it

It is considered of use to aid a child’s reintegration to their school setting following an exclusion
Using the right to exclude (including lunch time exclusions) as long as the exclusion is justified, and time bound.
When might part time education be appropriate?
A very short period of part time education may be acceptable after discussion with you and gaining your agreement. This will allow the School to put measures and resources in place to meet your child’s needs. It can also help to identify the need for a different curriculum or type of support for your child.

If part-time arrangements are to be in place for a sustainable amount of time, for example, for more than one half-term, the School should make suitable arrangements to commission alternative education providers. These will facilitate either enrichment programmes or additional support.

Whilst your child may only attend this provision part-time, they will remain on role with the school. A child of statutory school age (5 to 16 years old) is entitled to 25 hours of education per week. Sometimes it is in the best interest of the child that they have a dual placement, mixing school and an alternative provision.

How long should my child receive part time education for?
Long term part time education can only be maintained with your agreement, but you must fully consider whether this is meeting the needs of your child and will allow them to develop to their full potential. Few children benefit from long term part time education.
What should I do if my child has NOT been excluded and simply requires additional assistance?
You should talk with your point of contact at your child’s school. This may be a SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator), Pastoral Support Officer or Head of Year. They will be able to advise you on what options are available.

In addition to seeking advice from your school you may also want to look at the information provided through the web link below. This will show you what additional services and resources may be on offer locally to you

Fresh Start in Education can offer early intervention to prevent exclusion and provide additional support. Please feel free to pass on our information to your school, so that they may contact us directly.
Who should I contact at my local authority?
The Children and Families Services in your Local Authority should have a designated Exclusions Officer for parents and carers to liaise with in the event a child is excluded from any mainstream, academy and, or pupil referral unit in their borough.

Their role is to advise the Governors and to ensure that the school has followed Department for Education guidance. They can also give advice of any Independent Service available in the Local Authority who offer support with the exclusion process, especially if the exclusion may involve a child’s special educational needs or disability.
My child has an EHC plan, how can they get help finding employment?
As part of the services we provide, Fresh Start in Education offer Accompanied Work Placements. This service is designed to provide opportunities for young people to gain work experience whilst we provide appropriate levels of support. Please feel free to pass on our contact details to your Local Authority and mention ‘Accompanied Work Placements’.
Can I place my child with Fresh Start in Education?
If your child has an SEN Personal Budget, you may be able to use this to employ the services of Fresh Start in Education. However, this is something that we would need to discuss with you to ensure the full involvement and engagement of your local authority.
Where can I get help and independent advice from?
Coram Children's Legal Centre, is an organisation that provides free legal advice and information to parents on state education matters. The advice line is open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, except Bank Holidays and 24th December to the 1st January.

Tel: 01206 714 650 

Department for Education, outlines exclusion procedures in “Exclusion from maintained schools, Academies and Pupil Referral Units in England. A guide for those with legal responsibilities in relation to exclusion”. An electronic copy of this document can be obtained on the Department for Education website.

Tel: 0370 000 2288

Contact and Support

0131 341 4380

Northern Ireland
02896 206 040

0191 691 0884

01202 497 193
01217 946 504

South East
01622 963 498

0203 409 6410

South West
01392 790 678

Company Information

VAT Registration Number: 317 1675 06
Registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office No: Z2898392

Fresh Start in Education Ltd is a Limited Company incorporated in England, Wales & Scotland
Registered No: 7133204
Scotland Registered No: SC591697

Registered office: 
2nd Floor 32-33 Watling Street, Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom, CT1 2AN
Scotland registered office:  4th Floor, 115 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4JN
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