Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Disability and exclusion

In relation to disability and exclusions, a case in the High Court has established (subject to appeal) that an independent appeals panel (IAP) is not obliged to pay attention to previous decisions of a SENDIST that a child's exclusions were 'on account of disability'.

The IAP is entitled to make up its own mind on the evidence presented to it and in this case was correct in ignoring the decisions of the SENDIST.

This robust judgement is helpful to schools, not least because while SENDISTS are only tasked to check whether schools are discriminating, IAPs have a duty to consider the needs and safety of all members of the school community.

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