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Advice on writing to governors
Don't start with the negatives straight away:
Try to start with something positive;
- "We really appreciate the extra help that has been given to........."
Acknowledge your child's behaviour is a problem;
- "We have made it very clear that we are not happy with this behaviour"
Acknowledge that schools have a difficult job;
- "We understand the pressures that are put on the teachers in schools nowadays...... "
- "We are aware that there are problems with resources in schools....."
- Confirm your commitment to support the school;
- "We are trying hard to back the school"
Then explain why you think the exclusion was not justified:
- Refer to the Government's guidance to Heads (Improving Behaviour and Attendance)
The Secretary of State's Guidance to schools says that;
- “Exclusion should normally only happen: "if allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school.'
- 'Schools should also make every effort to avoid excluding pupils who are being supported at School Action or School Action Plus.'
- 'In most cases exclusion will be the last resort after a range of measures have been tried to improve the pupil's behaviour. In schools and LEAs a range of strategies should be in place to address the bad behaviour which may lead to exclusion. Head teachers should be able to refer pupils identified as at risk of exclusion to alternative or additional provision to meet their individual needs, which could include working in partnership with other agencies."
Point out if the school have been informed of the difficulties;
- "As we explained at the last review, it is important that all teachers are aware of..... "
- "The Statement specifies that it is important that all teachers are aware of....."
- "The difficulties were explained in the report supplied to you by..... "
Give examples of how the exclusion might have been avoided;
- "It seems to us that this exclusion is not justified and that there were 'reasonable steps' which could have been taken to avoid it"
- "As advised in the Educational Psychologist's report..... "
- "It would have helped if he had been allowed time to calm down.."
- "Confrontation was possibly not the best way to handle this....."
If your child has a disability refer to the Disability Discrimination Act;
- "This exclusion could have been 'disability discrimination' under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995."
Lastly try to end on a unifying statement:
- "Rather that going down the legal route, we would prefer to work with the school in order to obtain the right kind provision to support the school in meeting the needs of our child."
- "We would very much welcome the governors support with our....."
- "application to the LEA for a statutory assessment of needs."
- "request to the LEA for an amendment to the Statement to quantify the provision needed."
- "bringing to the attention of the LEA that the provision specified on the Statement is not being met."
Exclusion from schools - Writing to governors
Please also see these pages