The Department for Education has developed new guidance specifically for parents and carers on suspensions and permanent exclusion. The guidance for educational settings was updated last year, and this follows that publication.

For parents and carers who have children and young people with SEND, there is a

Pupils with special educational needs or a disability (SEND)

Every school has a governing board responsible for making sure the school is run well and has policies in place that promote good behaviour.

A governing board may also be called a governing body, a management committee or academy trust, depending on the type of school your child attends.

These boards have a legal duty to ensure the right support for pupils who have SEND.

The law does not prevent your child from receiving a sanction for misbehaviour, but schools do have a legal duty, under the Equality Act 2010, not to discriminate against your child because of their disability.

Reasonable adjustments

A school should not assume that because your child has SEND, it must have affected their behaviour on a particular occasion. Schools should consider whether your child’s SEND has contributed to their behaviour, and whether it is therefore fair and lawful to sanction them because of this.

Schools should think about any triggers of misbehaviour so they can support all pupils with SEND to behave well.

Sometimes, pupils with a disability will need reasonable adjustments made to a rule or type of sanction.

Education, health and care (EHC) plans

If your child has an EHC plan, the school should speak to you about any concerns they have about your child’s behaviour at an early stage. They should also contact the local authority and consider requesting an early annual review. This is when your local authority reviews your child’s EHC plan to make sure it is kept up to date.