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Robert Halfon: Excluded pupils must have rights after Harlow school pupil “robbed” of apprenticeship

News / Sat 3rd Feb 2018 at 05:53pm

EXCLUDED pupils should be protected by a “bill of rights” that would allow proper scrutiny of their school’s decision to kick them out, the influential chair of the education select committee has said reports Schoolsweek.

Robert Halfon is concerned about the lack of protection for pupils and their parents in situations where schools may have wrongly excluded them.

He is currently leading an inquiry into alternative provision, and believes the rising number of exclusions, which come to around 35 pupils a day, is the “greatest injustice in education at the moment”. As a result, he wants a “clear set of rules”.

He was shocked when a constituent’s son was excluded ahead of his GCSEs for fighting with another pupil who had been cyberbullying him, dashing his hopes of an apprenticeship. The headteacher in question “ignored” an independent panel which challenged the decision and the pupil was “now at home doing nothing.”

Pupils and their parents must be protected by a bill of rights, the MP for Harlow told Schools Week.

“There should be clear rules. I’m not against the headteacher having an important say, but at the moment the parent has no proper rights. I want a clear appeal system that works,” he added.

His suggestion that appeal processes across the country are “patchy” was backed by alternative provision experts.

Kiran Gill, founder of The Difference, an AP teacher training programme, said there were “wildly different” local authority processes.

The rest of ther article can be found at https://schoolsweek.co.uk/excluded-pupils-must-have-protective-bill-of-rights-says-education-committee-chair/

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