T was permanently excluded in March 2022 for refusing to follow the Head teacher’s instructions and for leaving the school site unattended.
T had been inside the school during lunch break, contrary to school rules, and had run away when the Head teacher’s called on T and other children to explain themselves - T then attended the Head teacher’s office, and actions escalated from there, with T eventually leaving the school site.
An Educational Psychologist Report in October 2021 described a potential diagnosis of ASD to T and called for her to be treated as if she did have ASD - the school had implemented a number of measures (both supportive, such as visual aids for T, and disciplinary, such as FTEs and a part-time timetable) prior to the PEX, although Mum felt that these measures were not sufficiently tailored to T’s needs.
The school had a list of interventions which it had implemented in response to the EP Report - one of these measures was counselling and therapy, which T had rejected after two sessions.
Immediately prior to the PEX, the school had attempted to secure a Managed Move to other institutions - one application had been unsuccessful (because of T’s behaviour record), while T’s Mum had rejected a move to a PRU.
The objective was to expunge the PEX from T’s record to facilitate a Managed Move, which could be done with the benefit of an EHCP report. The EHCP report was long-delayed but had been started at the time of the PEX - the authors were awaiting the outcome of the GDC/IRP before finalizing the EHCP.
Following the decision by the GDC to uphold the PEX, the IRP quashed the PEX and ordered that T be reinstated. This was due largely to significant procedural failings at the GDC, which included one governor dropping out of the virtual meeting and then leaving 30 minutes before its conclusion.
- “The Panel noted that the school did not have an online protocol for remote GDC hearings.”
- “There was no named ‘trusted adult’ that (Child) could approach with any concerns”
- Panel were not confident that the GDC hearing was properly managed given the change of clerk and technical issues [which included one governor missing 18 minutes of the meeting, and both governors having their cameras off for the entirety of the meeting”.
- “There was no evidence that T’s cognitive needs were assessed or addressed as part of her SEN support”.
Mother was to liaise with the school and the local authority exclusions officer to negotiate a Managed Move for T, as Mother did not feel that T’s needs could be met if she were reinstated at the school, given the tone of the Governors decision following the order by the IRP (which made clear that the school disagreed with the IRP’s conclusions and felt that PEX remained justified). Mother has not provided an update on these negotiations.