Exclusions are a complicated and difficult matter for any student to face; there are only certain grounds for which exclusions are applicable. The decision for exclusion has to be lawful, fair, and proportionate to the actions taken by the student. There are mainly two different types of exclusions: permanent and temporary. The one that is issued depends on the gravity of the matter at hand and the tolerance policy of the school.
In short, yes, school exclusions will likely go on your school record. All schools are legally required to keep records of their students for a certain period of time, and that includes a disciplinary track record.
The details of exclusions, and the chances of them affecting your college and university applications, all depend on a case-to-case basis. So, read on to find out more.
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Do Schools Keep a Record of a Student’s Disciplinary Track Record?
All schools are legally required to keep records of their pupils for a minimum of five years after they have left. For example, if a child left school at age sixteen, the records would be kept until that child is twenty-one years old.
A student’s school record will include personal information, grades, and exclusions if relevant. For most pupils, these records would be available for both their prospective sixth form colleges and universities. Due to this, it is very important to not get excluded, as it could negatively affect your future education.
What Can Lead to School Exclusions?
A permanent exclusion, or expulsion, is a serious action that results in being permanently removed from the school. It is a consequence of a significant breach of school policy. This can be anything ranging from persistent disruptive behaviour to highly dangerous acts, such as possessing illegal substances. The severity of the punishment does also depend on your school’s tolerance levels.
This decision to expel a student is only taken when the presence of the student at the school harms the education and welfare of others. On the other hand, a fixed-term exclusion is a suspension for only a period of time decided by the school. Comparatively, this applies for offences that are less serious than ones that lead to complete expulsion.
Schools have the option to isolate students on the school premises instead of expelling them completely. In England, fixed term exclusions cannot exceed more than 45 days. During this period, you are still a student at the school.
The circumstances of an exclusion are different for every school, but there is a line that most of us know to draw. An exclusion isn’t a light matter for anyone, and the importance of avoiding getting into one cannot be stressed enough. For further guidance on what to do if you or your child is excluded click here.
Can You Contest a School Exclusion?
Your parents or guardians are in a position to contest the exclusion. In the case that you feel you have been unrightfully treated with an exclusion, the first thing to do is talk to your parents or guardian about it.
In the case that a permanent exclusion is on the table but not finalised, negotiating for an alternative or reinstatement back to school may be an option. However, this is dependent on the severity of the situation and your previous history at the school.
An exclusion would be overseen by the heads at your school, and the governing directors. Your parents and local authorities (they don’t apply for shorter, minor incidents) will also be present.
Parents can apply for an Independent Review Panel (IRP) to review the negotiation in order to direct the school to reconsider their stance on the issue. This is in the case you are not happy with the proceedings that follow. Although, please note that the Independent Review Panel does not have the authority to reinstate you if the school has firmly decided on an exclusion.
Challenging it is an option for some cases, but it does not guarantee an outcome that is always desirable. Students are prone to making mistakes, and we all mature, learn from them as they teach us lessons worth remembering.
What Happens If You Get Excluded From School?
It is beneficial to know the procedure that follows an exclusion as it is well within your rights as a student. The first thing the school should do is inform your parents and issue a letter detailing the events that have led up to the exclusion. The letter will state the cause, the duration of the exclusion, and steps to follow if you disagree with the exclusion.
For the first 5 days, parents are to make sure that the excluded student isn’t present in public places during school hours, unless there is a significant reason to be. Failure to comply with this could result in fines as well.
The school and local authorities are also responsible for setting work for you for the days you are not present at school. This is to avoid any delays or setbacks in your education while you are away. This has to happen within 5 days of an exclusion.
In the case of a permanent exclusion, finding another option for education might be difficult, but the school will help you arrange this. They might even write a referral letter to be presented at another school to help make the transferral process much smoother.
If your child is struggling at school and has been excluded, even if only temporarily, I advise you read this article.
Do Universities Care About School Exclusions?
This million-dollar question cannot be answered with a black and white reply. What’s important to remember is that if you have any sort of exclusion on your track record, the best thing you can do is be truthful about it.
Permanent records are somewhat of a mythical rumour for most students, but they are in fact real. They contain all the significant information that the school requires, including any disciplinary actions taken against you. Permanent records are confidential, but universities can request to see them during application processes.
Because your school record can be access by future institutions you may wish to study at, it’s critical not to get caught with a lie on your application, this could be more damaging than stating exclusions explicitly. A lie on your application form could lead to serious consequences, such as getting your admission offer or even your degree revoked. If you have a history of any instances where you have been suspended or expelled, the best thing to do is talk to your school counsellor on how to approach the topic of applications.
The good thing about universities is that they do allow some leeway to students who have faced exclusions before, depending on the degree of seriousness of the reason. Often times, when it’s for relatively smaller causes, showing that you have grown and learnt from the situation will put you in a better position.
Good communication skills also reflect well on you, so giving solid context on the matter at the time is crucial – were you in a tough position, or was there anything indirectly affecting you in your personal life? Explaining the incident thoroughly is always vital, as it gives universities a clearer picture about the candidate you are and whether you are suited for their environment.
Universities won’t discriminate against you for previous misdemeanours if they are excusable, however, it will affect the way you are perceived on your applications. As always, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry, to try your best to not get excluded!