Schools and Colleges - FAQs
Ofsted asks you: "How do you ensure that your students are safeguarded when they are placed in alternative settings?"
Click below for the details of the arrangements made by the Partnerships that cover questions about DSL's, single central records, safeguarding and child protection. See below Question 11.
What's on this Page?
City address students - see question 1
Expelling a school from a Partnership - see question 9
Fair Access and Permanent Exclusion - see question 6
Financial implications of PEx and referral - see question 3
Full Cost Recovery - see question 10
Ofsted Questions about students who are Programme Managed - see question 13
Opting out of our local Partnership - see question 7
Parental rights over Programme Management - see question 12
Permanent Exclusion - see question 2
Permanent Exclusion - effects on other schools - see question 4
Permanent Exclusion - parental refusal re Programme Management - see question 12
Roll issues - see question 5
Single Central Record and AP - see question 11
Taking other schools' P Exs - see question 5
The Good Old Days when the LA sorted it - see question 8
1. Our school is working with a City address students who is at risk of exclusion. What should we do?
Schools should work with these students in exactly the same way as they would any other student. Use your locally agreed systems to refer the student to your Partnership. If your partnership makes a decision with you to place the student on an alternative education programme the Co-ordinator will make any necessary arrangements for transfer of support from Leicester City. Detailed advice and Guidelines are available here. The City has published a flow chart to illustrate this process
2. Can a Headteacher / Principal permanently exclude students?
Leicestershire's arrangements do nothing to restrict the right of a Headteacher / Principal to permanently exclude a student. Schools collectively have made a commitment to avoid permanent exclusion whenever they can. Our arrangements make it possible for schools to move quickly with the help of their local partnership to set up appropriate needs based provision out of school for a student who cannot sustain a school place.
3. What are the financial implications for my school if a student is educated in a partnership programme out of school?
The Partnerships will invoice the school for the Average Pupil Cost, pupil premium and any additional funding related to an EHCP from the day that the partnership programme takes over the education of the student. This is in line with national regulations for transfer of funding for students who are permanently excluded.
4. What are the implications for other schools in our Partnership if I permanently exclude a student?
There is no Pupil Referral Unit in Leicestershire. All schools and academies have signed up to the Partnership Agreement and the Memo of Understanding with LCC. This means that if you permanently exclude a child another school in your partnership has to take that child onto their roll. Most Heads and Principals will seek to avoid permanent exclusion for this reason.
5. Do I have to take a student on to my roll if my Partnership asks me to?
The Leicestershire Fair Access Protocol for Secondary Schools has been locally agreed and reviewed regularly in line with DFE Regulations. The FAP gives the power over fair Access Admissions to each local Partnership. Schools collectively, working through their local partnership group meetings can therefore decide which local school should admit a Fair Access child. Partnerships aim to ensure that schools all take their fair share of the extra admissions arising from Fair Access.
6. Are Permanently excluded children entitled to be admitted to a school under the rules of Fair Access?
The short answer is "Yes". Children who live in the locality of a Partnership, do not have a school place and meet the criteria set out in the Fair Access Protocol are entitled to a school place and should be placed on a roll swiftly. A school who receives a FAP student with a background that includes recent exclusions will make a referral to the local partnership for partnership support up to and including "Programme Management". This means that a school may have to take the child on roll but the responsibility for providing education will be with the Partnership.
7. Can my school opt out of the Partnership arrangements and use our share of the funds given to the partnership to deal with issues in our own way?
The short answer is "No". The Local Authority has the legal responsibility for the administration of the High Needs element of the Dedicated Schools Grant. "High Needs" pays for provision for excluded children and young people. LCC has delegated the money (that in some LAs is spent on PRU provision) to partnerships of schools working together collectively. A school opting out of the Partnership is still bound by the local Fair Access Protocol. It is still required to transfer pupil based funding to the local Partnership if it permanently excludes a child. It would lose its right of access to all the provision that the local Partnership has in place to support young people at risk of exclusion.
8. Is working collectively through Partnerships better for my school than the old system of a central LCC service for exclusions including a PRU?
Most schools and academies in Leicestershire would answer this question with a firm "Yes". Because schools in the locality control the money previously held centrally they can work together creatively. Money that was previously spent on maintaining a PRU can in part be spent on early interventions and creative approaches. The outcomes for young people in Leicestershire at risk of exclusion have steadily improved since this approach was adopted.
9. Can schools in a Partnership expel a "non co-operating" school from the Partnership?
Yes. The Partnership Agreement sets out how local schools might make such a decision in section 16. No Partnership has needed to make such a decision up to this point. The DFE including the Regional Schools Commissioners and Oftsed champion collaborative working between schools. Multi Academy Trusts recognise that working with vulnerable learners needs to be rooted in localities. So common sense usually prevails!
10. What is "Full Cost Recovery" and can it be levied on schools who are not in the Partnerships
Full Cost Recovery - a school is charged the full cost of provision for an excluded child. This is likely to be significantly in excess of the pupil based funding allocated to the school. The Partnership Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding that supports it (and has been signed by all Leicestershire Secondary Schools) refers to Full Cost Recovery. Partnerships will not seek Full Cost Recovery from their member schools. LCC has agreed that it will seek Full Cost Recovery on behalf of the Partnerships should the necessity arise - where a school was excluding children but not participating in Partnership arrangements.
11. Do schools need to worry about the safeguarding, single central record and DSL arrangements when they place students in "settings other than schools"?
The short answer is YES! You must satisfy yourselves that everything is in place to ensure that your students are safeguarded wherever they are. If your student has been referred to the Partnership who are making the arrangements for alternative placements you can be confident that this will all be in place. The Partnerships have robust processes, set up with LEBC, to ensure that all is as it should be for each student in each placement. You can find further details here. If you are making your own arrangements to place students in settings other than school these need to ensure that all safeguarding issues are "sorted" and we would strongly advise that you contact your local Partnership and/or LEBC before making any placements.
12. A child's Parents are refusing to follow our recommendation that the child should be Programme Managed by the Partnership. Should the school permanently exclude the child in order to over ride the parental opposition?
The Headteacher has the power to direct that a child is educated off site in order to improve behaviour. See page 8 of Alternative Provision Guidance . Even though this might be a difficult discussion with parents it may be preferable to use this regulation rather than resorting to permanent exclusion. If, in line with the County agreement, the school does not normally use permanent exclusion, to do so in this circumstance may be judged as taking the action to "punish the parents not the child". (see para 13 page 19 of Exclusions statutory guidance
13. Ofsted asks you: "How do you ensure that your students are safeguarded when they are placed in alternative settings?"
The Partnerships have a process for checking on the arrangements made by Education Settings other than schools, using Leicester Education Business Company LEBC. There is a document that summarises these arrangements that can be shared with Ofsted Inspection Teams called Safeguarding Students in Settings other than Schools
Do you have a question that we have not answered here? Send us a message and we will get back to you.