SV ACADEMY SUSPENSION POLICY
Statement of Intent
StreetVibes Media Academy aims to ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the school community and to maintain an appropriate educational environment in which all can learn and succeed. SV also aims to reduce the need to use suspension as a sanction.
The decision to suspend a student will be taken in the following circumstances:-
- In response to a serious breach of the SV Student Discipline Policy;
- If allowing the student to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the student or others in the school.
- Irreparable breakdown of the relationship between the school and parents (or students, in the case of post-16 students).
Fixed term suspension will be used as a last resort for students who have been unable to respond to the school’s behaviour strategies and continue to disrupt the learning of others or present a risk to themselves or others.
Permanent suspension from school is a last resort, when all attempts to meet a students’ Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs have failed, he/she is unable to conform to school expectations and their behaviour is having a serious impact on the learning and safety of themselves or others. Prior to this action being taken the school will have involved a number of outside agencies including the Local Authority, with whom an alternative placement should have been discussed.
Suspension is an extreme sanction and is only administered by the Head of Learning (or, in the absence of the Head, the Deputy Head who is acting in that role).
Suspension, whether fixed term or permanent may be used for any of the following, all of which constitute examples of unacceptable conduct, and are infringements of the Student Discipline Policy:
- Verbal abuse to staff and others
- Verbal abuse to students
- Physical abuse to/attack on staff
- Physical abuse to/attack on students
- Indecent behaviour
- Damage to property
- Misuse of illegal drugs
- Misuse of other substances
- Serious actual or threatened violence against another student or a member of staff
- Sexual abuse or assault
- Supplying an illegal drug
- Carrying an offensive weapon
- Unacceptable behaviour which has previously been reported and for which School/College sanctions and other interventions have not been successful in modifying the student’s behaviour.
This is not an exhaustive list and there may be other situations where the Head of Learning makes the judgment that suspension is an appropriate sanction. Please note, if a student shows physical aggression towards any member of staff or any student, ALL staff members have the right to physically restrain students. This is to protect all staff and students, including the student being restrained.
The Decision To Suspend
If the Head decides to suspend a student he/she will:
- ensure that there is sufficient recorded evidence to support the decision
- explain the decision to the student
- contact the parents, explain the decision and ask that the child be collected
- send a letter to the parents confirming the reasons for the suspension, whether it is a permanent or temporary suspension,
- the length of the suspension and any terms or conditions agreed for the student’s return
- in cases of more than a day’s suspension, ensure that appropriate work is set and that arrangements are in place for it to be marked
- plan how to address the student’s needs on his/her return
- plan a meeting with parents and student on his/her return
An suspension should not be enforced if doing so may put the safety of the student at risk. In cases where parents will not comply by, for example, refusing to collect the child, the child’s welfare is the priority.
BEHAVIOUR OUTSIDE OF SVA
Student’s behaviour outside school on school business e.g. on school trips, at sports fixtures, is subject to the school’s behaviour policy. Bad behaviour in such circumstances will be dealt with as if it had taken place in school.
For behaviour outside the school, not on school business, the Head may suspend a student if there is a clear link between that behaviour and maintaining good behaviour and discipline among the student body as a whole, or if it is deemed to be damaging to the reputation of the school.
Students With Special Educational Needs And Disabled Students
SVA will take account of any special educational needs when considering whether or not to suspend a student.
We have a legal duty under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 as amended not to discriminate against disabled students by suspending them from school for behaviour related to their disability. The Head will ensure that reasonable steps have been taken by the school/college to respond to a student’s disability so the student is not treated less favourably for reasons related to the disability.
‘Reasonable steps’ could include:
- differentiation in SVA’s behaviour policy
- developing strategies to prevent the student’s behaviour
- requesting external help with the student
- staff training
Where reasonable adjustments to policies and practices have been made to accommodate a student’s needs and to avoid the necessity for suspension as far as possible, suspension may be justified if there is a material and substantial reason for it. A specific incident affecting order and discipline in the school may be such a reason.
Marking Attendance Registers Following Suspension
When a student is suspended temporarily, he/she should be marked as absent using code E.
Removal from School for Other Reasons
The Head may send a student home, after consultation with that student’s parents and a health professional as appropriate, if the student poses an immediate and serious risk to the health and safety of other students and staff, for example because of a diagnosed illness such as a notifiable disease. This is not a suspension and should be for the shortest possible time.
Procedure for Appeal
If students or parents wish to appeal a suspension, they should in the first instance write to the Head of Learning and request a review of the decision to suspend, setting out their justification for a review. The Head of Learning will investigate the circumstances regarding the suspension and present the evidence to justify the suspension at a meeting with the student and his/her parents. The student will be given an opportunity to present his/her case and any evidence that could justify or excuse their actions. A resolution may be sought and in most cases we would expect to resolve the issue at this meeting.
If students or parents are not satisfied following the meeting with the Head of Learning, the matter will be referred to a Suspension Panel. The Suspension Panel, who were not involved in the initial decision to suspend, will acknowledge the complaint and schedule a hearing to take place as soon as practicable and normally within five days.
Records relating to the decision to suspend and the parents’ complaint will be copied to all parties not later than two days prior to the hearing. In no circumstances however will the school or its staff be required to divulge to parents or others any confidential information on, or the identities of students or others who have given information which has led to the suspension or which the Head has acquired during an investigation. The parents may be accompanied to the hearing by one other person. This may be a relative, teacher or friend. Legal representation will not normally be appropriate.
If possible the Suspension Panel will resolve the parents’ complaint without the need for further investigation. Where further investigation is required, the Suspension Panel will decide how it should be carried out. This decision will be made within ten days of the hearing. The Suspension Panel will write to the parents informing them of the decision and the reasons for it. The decision of the Suspension Panel will be final. The Suspension Panel findings and, if any, recommendations will be sent in writing to the parents and the Head.
This policy was last reviewed March 2023