The virtual school is committed to reducing school exclusions for the children it looks after. Whilst the number of looked-after children receiving fixed term exclusions has decreased in recent years, we are all too aware, exclusions not only result in missed time in school but can also increase pressure on the home placement.
Headteachers should, as far as possible, avoid excluding any child in care. The virtual school should ensure that carers and social workers know where to seek advice about their role and responsibilities. Where a school has concerns about a child in care’s behaviour, the virtual school should be informed and, where necessary, involved at the earliest opportunity. This is to enable the virtual school, working with others, to:
- consider what additional assessment and support (such as additional help for the classroom teacher or one-to-one therapeutic work etc) needs to be put in place to address the causes of the child’s behaviour and prevent the need for exclusion
- make any additional arrangements to support the child’s on-going education in the event of an exclusion.
The virtual school monitors all exclusions by using an attendance monitoring service which provides a same day alert and will work with both the school and other professionals to try and prevent further exclusions.
The virtual school, works closely with other local authority departments and other agencies to seek solutions to exclusion. Any proposed changes to provision must be discussed with the virtual school.
Statutory guidance on the exclusion of pupils from local-authority maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units. (DfE June 2012, updated Sept 2017)
DfE advice for school leaders and school staff on developing a school behaviour policy