This page provides information regarding different aspects of schools including - School Attendance, School Exclusions, School Transitions, Managed Moves, Elective Home Education and Medical Needs
All schools should follow the School Attendance Guide which is guidance from the Department for Education (DFE). The guidance has been produced to help schools maintain high levels of school attendance. The DfE have also created School Attendance and Absence which provides information on when your child should attend school and when they can be absent.
The Attendance and Pupil Welfare service works directly with schools and families to try and reduce school absences. Parents and carers can contact them directly to ask for help and support to raise their child's attendance.
The School Admissions team have information about admissions into settings including applications into school nurseries, primary and secondary schools.
There are two types of exclusions Fixed Term and Permanent exclusions lawfully only the head teacher can exclude a child and you should be informed about your child’s exclusion as soon as possible (usually by phone). You should also be given a letter explaining the reason for the exclusion, the date your child can return to school or if it is a permanent exclusion, you should be given information advising you of your right to appeal; this should be done immediately.
Fix Term Exclusions
Further information about Fixed Term exclusions -
- The exclusions can be used for a maximum of 45 days over the school year.
- School should set and mark work for them for the first five days of their exclusion and must provide suitable full time alternative education from and including the sixth day.
- In exceptional cases, usually where further evidence has come to light, a further fixed period exclusion may be issued, to begin immediately after the first period ends; or a permanent exclusion may be issued to begin immediately after the end of the fixed period.
- Following the exclusion parents or carers may be invited to a meeting known as a reintegration meeting. This meeting is put in place for you and the school to work together to see if there is any strategies that can be put in place to avoid future exclusions.
- Parents and carers are responsible for the whereabouts of the child, they should not be in a public place without a reasonable reason during school hours
A permanent exclusion is where a child will no longer be allowed to attend their school and their name will be removed from the school roll.
Further information about Permanent exclusions -
- A decision to permanently exclude should only be made when a child has made serious and/or persistent breaches of the school’s behaviour policy or where allowing them to remain in school would seriously harm their education, welfare, or that of others in the school.
- Any exclusion from school can have serious implications for a child and should only be used as a last resort. Before deciding to exclude, the school must have tried all other methods of help to support them.
- School should set and mark work for the first five days of exclusion and the local authority must provide suitable full time alternative education from, and including, the sixth day.
- If the child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, any alternative provision must be able to meet their needs as set out in the EHC plan, and the provision must be identified in consultation with you.
Children and young people with special educational needs may be excluded due to their needs not being met. If your child is excluded either fixed term or permanently, you should consider what steps need to be taken to get their needs met effectively and avoid any further exclusions in the future.
Setting Changes and Support
School transitions when children and young people move between schools. We know that transition from schools will be an anxious time for children, particularly moving up to primary, secondary school or college.
Doncaster schools and colleges often will run ‘transition days’ or in some cases will think about alternative ways to prepare children and young people for their upcoming transition. For children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities the transition process may need to be planned further in advance and have additional support to help the child's transition.
If your child has specialists working with them, they could also be part of the transition planning.
Some tips that you can do to help with transition:
- Explain to your child that things are going to change and why they are changing
- Speak with the SENCO of the new school to discuss your child's needs and start a plan of support for your child when they are attending the school.
- Try and speak to your child about their concerns and worries. This will then enable you to reassure them and also speak with school about their worries.
- Seeing photos or attending a tour (physically or virtually) of the classes and the school.
- Think about what has worked well in the past when you’ve helped your child prepare for a new experience.
A Managed Move is a voluntary agreement between two schools, your child and you.
The move allows a child who is at risk of permanent exclusion to have a trial transfer to another setting. The move has to be mutually agreed between parent, child, the headteacher of current school and the head teacher of the receiving school.
During the trial a member of the new setting staff team should meet with your child regularly to review their progress towards the Managed Move targets; this allows your child the chance to identify what has gone well and how to replicate their success.
Changing School Setting
Moving between schools can be a difficult experience for children and young people; if you have moved house this is often necessary but if a school move is not essential you should consider all of the possible implications such as transport, continuity of the curriculum, and the importance of friendships for children and young people. If your child has special educational needs (SEN) and an SEN plan the school should share information with the school, college or other setting the child or young person is
moving to. Schools should agree with parents and pupils the information to be shared as part of this planning process to make sure the move is well considered and systems are in place to maintain the support in the new school. Where possible speak to your child's school before switching to see what support they can offer you. Find out more and apply for a school place through the normal School Admissions.
Sometimes an agreement may be reached that a ‘managed move’ is the best thing for your child. This a voluntary agreement between two schools, your child and you. You can find out more information on the SENDIAS website.
Children with EHCP’s
Children with an EHCP do not follow the normal admissions system. The process depends on if you are going through the application for a new EHCP or if you already have one in place.
If you are going through the process for an EHCP
At the 16 week stage if the local authority has agreed to issue an EHCP you will receive a draft EHCP, within the draft Section I will be blank and you will be asked which settings you would like to consult with. You can find information on Doncaster Mainstream Schools and Special Schools on the Local Offer Website.
If there is already an EHCP in place
You can also ask for a change of school at an annual review. If you do not have an annual review coming up you can ask for an Emergency Annual Review to discuss the change of school as soon as the need is identified.
The local authority must then consult with the school or schools you have requested (this is called consultation). Normally the local authority will send the consultation to the school or schools alongside the EHCP for the school to determine if they would be able to meet the child’s needs. The final decision on whether to name a school lies with the local authority.
The local authority must name your preference as long as it is:
Suitable for your child’s age, ability, aptitude and special educational needs
- Not incompatible with:
- The efficient education of other children
- The efficient use of resources (too expensive)
When a setting is named on the EHCP, the school must provide the child with a place. There is some legal information on the IPSEA Website about applying for specialist settings.
Elective Home Education
Elective home education is when a parent decides to teach their children within the home instead attending school.
Some of the reasons a parent may decide to educate their child at home may include:
- Child is being bullied
- Parent or child unhappy with school
- Religious or cultural beliefs
- Child is unwilling to attend school
- Child has special educational needs and parent feels school are not meeting need
- Family cannot get child into setting they feel can meet child's needs
“The responsibility for a child’s education rests with their parents. In England, education is compulsory but school is not” – Department for Education guidance.
If you would like to talk to our Elective Home Education Officer about your decision to Home Educate, or you would like any further support and advice about any information on this site please contact the Attendance & Pupil Welfare Service on 01302 736504 or email EHE@doncaster.gov.uk
For more information look on the Elective Home Education website.
Medical Needs in School
Many children have medical conditions that can affect their school life. Some children miss a lot of school due to their illness where some children may require medication or personal care during school time.
Schools must "make arrangements for supporting pupils at the school with medical conditions." - Children and Families Act Section 100
Schools must publish a policy on how they support pupils with medical needs. The policy should be reviewed regularly and be available for both parents and staff.
The policy should include details of:
- Ensuring that all staff are aware of children's medical conditions
- A member of staff who is responsible for implementing the policy.
- Risk assessments for school trips
- Responsibility for staff training.
- How they plan to develop and monitor individual healthcare plans
- Cover arrangements and briefing of supply teachers.
- Procedures for when the school is notified that a child has a medical need.
- Procedures for managing medicines in schools.
All early years settings, schools and colleges must ensure that pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities are not discriminated against or disadvantaged. To help ensure that this happens all settings have a legal duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’. Put simply, this means that consideration and practical changes should be made to ensure that disabled pupils can participate in their education, including trips.
An example of a ‘reasonable adjustment’ might involve arranging for a pupil who uses a wheelchair to access all learning on the ground floor of the building. The reasonable adjustment duty does not apply to the content of the curriculum, only how the curriculum is delivered.
Further information about disability discrimination can be found on the IPSEA website.
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