High Court hears landmark legal aid challenge over school exclusion appeals

High Court hears landmark legal aid challenge over school exclusion appeals

The High Court has begun hearing a landmark challenge that could potentially see appeals to school exclusions – an area of the education sector in which children who are black and/or have special educational needs and disabilities are overrepresented – brought within the scope of legal aid.

Find out more about this in the Law Society Gazette here

Raheem Stirling Scholarship 2024/25

Raheem Stirling Scholarship 2024/25

Closing date for applications is 30 May 2024

Subject Area: All subject areas.

Funding Category: Tuition fee. Stipend.

Funding value: Up to £16,000 per year.

Awarding Body: Raheem Stirling Foundation

Academic Year: 2024/25

Study Mode: Undergraduate

Open to: Black British Students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds in the area of Greater London.

Applications by: 30 May 2024

Exam Preparation: How to support children & young people during exam season

Have you signed up for tomorrows PEP Forum yet?

Sign up here all parents will receive a copy of this handy guide.

Our Next PEP Forum is in two weeks - 25th April

Our Next PEP Forum is in two weeks - 25th April

Exam season is almost upon us so how do you support your child? 

Whether they're taking SATs, GCSEs, A levels or a degree. Join the PEP team to discuss and learn the many ways that we can prepare and support our children during what can be a stressful time in their lives.

Clink here to register and join us at 18:30 on Thursday 25th April 2024.

Places where Kids Eat Free (or for £1) during School Half Terms & Holidays in 2024

Places where Kids Eat Free (or for £1) during School Half Terms & Holidays in 2024

The family who eat together, saves together

Since it is difficult to keep children entertained without spending a fortune. Here are some of the restaurants and cafes that are offering to let 'Kids Eat Free' (or for £1) during every UK school holiday in 2024.

Tesco:  The kids eat free promotion will sadly NOT be happening at Tesco this half term.  Check their website for updates.

Subway: Kids get a 4-inch sandwich, a snack, and a drink at Subway when an adult buys a Footlong Sub at participating Subway outlets from Monday 25th March to Sunday 14th April 2024.

 YO! Sushi: Kids eat free at YO! Sushi from March 25th - April 12th 2024, all day when dining with a full-paying adult (minimum £10 spend). 

Asda Cafes: Kids eat for £1 All Day, Every Day at Asda cafes, with no adult spend required. The offer has been extended until the end of 2024. 

In addition, children will receive a free piece of fruit such as an apple, pear or banana when purchasing the hot kids £1 meal deal.

Asda also provides FREE Ella's baby food pouches for children under 18 months old with any purchase.

Morrisons: Kids eat free all day, every day in Morrisons cafes nationwide, daily with every adult meal over £4.49. This offer includes half terms. 

TGI Fridays: Kids Eat Free all day every day When 'Stripes Rewards Members' purchase a full priced adult’s main meal. If you're not a ‘Rewards Member’, just book your table and then simply download the app before your visit.  

Bills: Up to two kids can eat free ALL DAY from Monday 25th March – Friday 12th April (excluding Saturday & Sunday), if one adult orders any main dish (breakfast, lunch or dinner). 

Coconut Tree: Kids Eat Free this easter at Coconut Tree restaurants.  One child (aged 10 and under) eats free per paying adult. Valid on food only from 23/03/2024 – 14/04/2024. 

Beefeater: Two children get free breakfast with one paying adult! It has also been reported that if you sign up for their newsletter they send out a code for kids to eat free, but I haven't personally tried this.

 Brewers Fayre: Up to two Kids (under 16) eat free, unlimited breakfast with any purchase of an adult's breakfast.  

Sainsbury's Cafés: Sainsbury's Cafes offer one child hot meal or lunch bag for £1 with any adult main meal purchased over £5.20. This offer is on every day from 11:30am. Kid's mains include one main, 3 sides a drink and a piece of fruit.

Gordon Ramsay Restaurants: Kids under 8 eat FREE all day, every day at selected Gordon Ramsay restaurants with a purchase of an adults meal from the a la carte menu.

Purezza: Children under the age of 10 get free pizza at Purezza with every adults meal. Offer valid all day, every day. 

Sizzling Pubs: Between 3pm - 7pm (Monday to Friday ), kids eat for £1 with the purchase of every 1 adult main meal in Sizzling Pubs in England, Scotland and Wales.

Hungry Horse: Kids eat for £1 when accompanied by a paying adult, on Mondays only at Hungry Horse.

Pausa Cafes at Dunelm: During School Holidays, for every £4 spent by an adult in the cafe, kids can enjoy one free mini main, two yummy snacks and a drink - across all menu items. The offer is running all day everyday, at Pausa Cafes at Dunelm. 

Preto: Kids eat free all day, every on weekends and from 4pm on weekdays with paying adults at Preto. This offer is open to children up to 10 years old - This is an ongoing offer that is on only during summer holidays and half terms. You must download a 'Kids Eat Free' Voucher to show your server.

Whitbread Inns: Purchase one great value £9.50 breakfast at any Whitbread Inns pub or restaurant and two kids under 16 eat breakfast for FREE.

Future Inns: At Future Inns, under 5's always eat for free with any adult meal.

Table Table: Two children under 16 years old can get a free breakfast every day with one paying adult!

The REAL Greek: Kids under 12 Eat Free Every Sunday at The Real Greek with every £10.00 spent by an adult.

Bella Italia: Children can eat for £1 with any adult main. The offer is valid between 4-6pm Monday to Thursday.

IKEA: Kids can enjoy Kids Pasta with Tomato Sauce and a soft drink for 95p or any other Kids Meal for £1.50 every day from 11am.

Premier Inn: At Premier Inn, you can enjoy their all-you-can-eat Breakfast for just £9.99 and up to two kids under 16 eat for free. 

Travelodge: At Travelodge, you can enjoy their all-you-can-eat Breakfast for just £9.75 and up to two kids under 15 eat for free. 

Dobbies Garden Centres: At Dobbies, for every purchase of an adult breakfast or lunch, kids eat for FREE. This offer is on every day. 

Farmhouse Inns: Kids eat free is available at SOME Farmhouse Inns pubs. Please see your local for information. 

More information including links with T&Cs for the individual restaurants can be found on the Money Saving Central website here

Activities for children and families during the Easter Break!

Activities for children and families during the Easter Break!

Enjoy some parent, child time this Easter.

Check out local authority websites and national press for information about activities families with children can enjoy.

There are also websites such as Days Out with Kids and Visit London (or whichever town you reside in) for information about activities in your area. 

Book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Wishing you a wonderful Easter Break from CEN!

The Next PEP Parents Forum is on 14th March: Join Us!

The Next PEP Parents Forum is on 14th March: Join Us!

The next PEP Forum is on School Exclusions

The next PEP Parents Forum tackles the thorny subject of School Exclusions.

We'll look at why school exclusions happen, what to do if it happens to your child and we'll also share some checklist on the process and how to avoid you can ensure that your child isn't excluded.

So join us on Thursday 14th March @ 6:30pm.

The event is virtual and you can register here or via our socials on Facebook and Instagram (search CENLive) or sign up for PEP updates straight to your inbox by clicking on the 'Join PEP' button on our website.

See you there!

School absence fines to rise by £20 for Parent / Carers in England

School absence fines to rise by £20  for Parent / Carers in England

Parents will face higher fines for removing their children from school during term time.

Parent / carers are being cautioned to be aware of increased fines for unauthorised school absences.

Parent / carers in England who take their children out of classes without permission will face higher fines as part of an initiative to increase school attendance.

The initiative follows a drop in attendance since the pandemic and an increase in homeschooling.

The Department for Education (DfE) has said a fine must be considered if a child misses five days of school because of unauthorised absence.

School absence fines currently start at £60, rising to £120 if they are not paid within 21 days. But the DfE has said fines will now start at £80, rising to £160.

More information on this is available at BBC News here

Government to ban mobile phone use in schools

Government to ban mobile phone use in schools

Children will no longer be able to use mobile phones at anytime during the school day

Mobile phones are to be banned in schools across England as part of the government’s plan to minimise disruption and improve behaviour in classrooms. 

New guidance on mobile phones in schools (issued on 19 February 2024) supports headteachers in forbidding the use of mobile phones during the school day, including at break times.  

According to Ofcom, at the age of 12, 97% of children have their own mobile phone.  However, using mobile phones in schools can lead to online bullying, distraction and classroom disruption which, in turn, can lead to lost learning and potentially, exclusions. 

Tribute to a Former CEN Advocate

Tribute to a Former CEN Advocate

Jonathan Bob-Amara 18.07.68 - 20.12.23

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of our former colleague, Jonathan Bob-Amara who supported CEN for many years, both as a volunteer advocate and as a member of the CEN team.

Jonathan was held in dear affection by many of the parents and families who he helped over the years, some of whom still ask for him when they contact CEN for additional support.

As a colleague, Jonathan was well-liked, very supportive to other team members as well as volunteers and a great team player, known for being a sympathetic ear to parents using the service.

We hope that you will join CEN in sending Jonathan’s family our deepest condolences and very best wishes.

Jenn Lewis


Looking Behind the Mask

Looking Behind the Mask

For over a week while the world debated that ‘slap', hundreds, and possibly thousands of children were excluded from school for similar random acts, some for even less.

While many commentators chose the comedic route: parody, jokes, gifs, and memes via which to channel their reaction to Will Smith's actions, others sought the route of opinion and curiosity, taking up many miles of column inches: print, WhatsApp, chat rooms - connecting total strangers over group chats with contributors contorting ourselves into psychoanalytic pretzels over the topic to understand, why?

CEN Statement - BBC Radio London (28/04/2021)

CEN Statement - BBC Radio London (28/04/2021)

Of all the students that CEN is currently supporting across London and beyond, we have noticed an alarming number of exclusion cases originating from Harris Academy schools across London. One case in particular at Harris Academy Tottenham, was in the news and was featured on BBC Radio London's Vanessa Feltz show on 28th April. One of CEN's Advocates appeared on the show alongside the parent that they were supporting.

If you are dealing with a current case where your child has been wrongfully excluded, please contact us on 020 7733 0397. 

If you have a past case where your child has been wrongfully excluded and would like to share your story, please email us at info@cenlive.org



CEN received an award for Community Activism from NABSS (National Association of Black Saturday Schools). This award was in recognition of CEN's work within the community.The event took place on 4th January 2019.

Diversity In The Workplace

Diversity In The Workplace

Our CEO Jenn Lewis, attended an event hosted by one of our funders, the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and whilst listening to the speakers responding to a question about how to make the workplace more diverse, a very quick mental calculation, concluded that CEN's own workforce appeared to buck the trend of white, male domination that exists in the corporate world and even in community-based charities. 

Vulnerable Pupils & Unqualified Teachers-Victoria Derbyshire Show BBC

CEN client Heather Clarke and son Sean appeared on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire Show in July 2018 to discuss Sean’s experience of being educated at an alternative provision. Subsequent to appearing on the show, an Independent Review Panel,(IRP), concluded that the decision of the governing board to uphold the headmaster’s decision to permanently exclude Sean had been illegal, irrational and procedurally improper. Among the findings of the Independent Review Panel, the panel agreed that the school’s inconsistent application of sanctions had caused Sean to experience indirect discrimination.