Department for Education withdraws revised guidance on school exclusions

The Department for Education has removed its revised statutory guidance for school exclusions less than a month after it came into force, “to address some issues with process”.

The move follows a threat of judicial review proceedings from Just for Kids Law, a charity for young people.

The DfE issued the guidance, Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units, on 9 December. The document became effective from 5 January.

Just for Kids Law sent a pre-action letter earlier this month, however, alleging a failure to consult and a breach of the public sector equality duty.

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The charity argued that the revised version of the guidance took away significant benefits to vulnerable children at a greater risk of exclusion.

A change in the wording from the previous version of the guidance meant, it said, that a pupil could potentially be excluded now even if they had not breached their school’s behaviour policy.

The DfE said today that updated guidance would be issued “in due course”.