Excluded children and parents should be protected by ‘bill of rights’, say experts

The Independent reports that that excluded children and their parents should be protected by a “bill of rights” which would give them better scrutiny of a school’s decision to get rid of them, special educational needs experts say.

The idea was first proposed by the chair of the education select committee Robert Halfon, amid concerns about rising school exclusions. 

Jules Daulby, director of education at the Driver Youth Trust, a charity which focuses on children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND), told MPs that “a bill of rights” was needed.

“There absolutely should be a bill of rights for parents and children that are not coping, or who have been excluded from mainstream, and we should know much more about them,” she said. 

Louise Gazely, a senior lecturer in education at the University of Sussex, added that some families need more support to fight for the rights of their excluded children than others.

She said: “Some parents are very much better placed to assert their rights than others, and one of the issues is many of the children who get tied up in these processes have parents who do not have the knowledge, the understanding, the trust, the experience to exert their rights.”

Earlier this year, the chair of the education select committee Mr Halfon told the Schools Week newspaper that he was concerned about the lack of protection for pupils and their parents in situations where the child may have been wrongly excluded

He said: “There should be clear rules. I’m not against the headteacher having an important say, but at the moment the parent has no proper rights. I want a clear appeal system that works.”

Last month, teachers claimed that taking a zero-tolerance approach to discipline – which can lead to more school exclusions – amounted to “child abuse”.

Read more Excluded children and parents should be protected by ‘bill of rights’, say experts

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Categories: Parenting, Primary, Secondary and SEN.


  1. Judith Wilson

    Fair point, “Busy Mum” – it’s all about getting the balance right. Students who have no particular issues/problems in their school life are entitled to learn to the best of their ability without distraction/disruption, but so are students with special needs. The trouble is that the term ‘special needs’ encompasses a massive variety of problems and each individual student needs their own specific form of support. What REALLY concerns me is the gradual withdrawal of support for these students and the knock-on effect it is having in mainstream schools. Unless we lobby parliament and make our feelings heard (both as teachers and parents/carers) I fear that special needs units (and, ultimately, special schools) will cease to exist.


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