The Education and Inspections Act 2006 established that the parent becomes responsible for a child in the first five days of every exclusion, ensuring that he or she is not present in a public place during school hours. With children in care this responsibility falls to the social worker to be carried out with the involvement of foster carers.
Schools must provide meaningful and relevant work to all excluded pupils for the first five days. From the sixth day of a fixed exclusion schools are responsible for providing full time education. Access to the services of alternative learning programmes may be provided at this stage.
Only the headteacher (or member of staff with delegated responsibility) can exclude a pupil. The school must record all exclusions electronically for the government census and the local authority and notify the parent in writing of the reason for exclusion within 24 hours. Carers should ensure social workers receive a copy of any letter of exclusion received.
In the event of a child in care being deemed at risk of permanent exclusion by the headteacher, the relevant Virtual School Assistant Headteacher will work with the inclusion team (and SEN team if appropriate) and the school until a suitable educational offer is in place. Surrey schools currently have no recorded permanent exclusions of Surrey children in care.
A new mainstream school may be appropriate with a package of support, or a place at a pupil referral unit. An assessment of special educational needs and/or CAMHS intervention may be sought.