Communities Empowerment Network (CEN) aims to support, advise, represent and reintegrate pupils excluded from school back into full-time, mainstream education and to support parents to play an empowered role for the successful education and progress of their children.

Vision and strategy

Communities Empowerment Network’s vision is a just and equal society in which all children and young people receive their entitlement to an appropriate and enlightened education allowing them to fulfill their potential and make a contribution to an inclusive society.

  • CEN empowers parents to challenge the exclusion process
  • CEN provides advice, mediation and resources to families and education professionals
  • CEN offers specialist training for advocates including exclusions law and special educational needs
  • CEN researches educational exclusions

CEN’s model for service delivery is based on providing advocates and representatives for parent/s and their child at governors hearings and independent review panels where the decision to exclude a pupil can be challenged by the parent on principles outlined in education law and the Department for Education guidance on school exclusions.


CEN was founded in 1999 by a group of lawyers, educators and social workers concerned with the level of school exclusions affecting African-Caribbean children in particular. CEN provides a London-wide service to mainly African and African-Caribbean parents by offering advice, support and representation for their children who have either been excluded from school or are at risk of permanent exclusion. The service aims to both help minimise the use of school exclusion in the first place, as well as to counter its damaging effects by facilitating a swift return to full-time, mainstream education.

Team CEN

CEN is governed by a board of Trustees who volunteer their time to help direct CEN’s work. Meet the team.

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