Nothing in the Equality Act 2010 requires you to act in a way which is inconsistent with other legal obligations relating to exclusions from school. In fact, following the exclusion guidance and any other government guidance is likely to reduce the risk of you discriminating in relation to exclusions.
- Maintained schools in England (including grammar schools, and Pupil Referral Units) must comply with Improving Behaviour and Attendance: Guidance on exclusion from schools and Pupil Referral Units by the Department for Education (DfE) (www.education.gov.uk), which sets out the law relating to exclusions. The exclusions guidance makes it clear that pupils should only by excluded from school as a last resort and that exclusions should only be made on grounds of a pupil’s behaviour. Nothing in the Act conflicts with this guidance.
- Maintained schools in Wales (including Pupil Referral Units) must comply with Guidance on Exclusion from Schools and Pupil Referral Units produced by the Welsh Assembly Government and available from their website (www.wales.gov.uk). The exclusions guidance makes it clear that pupils should only by excluded from school as a last resort and that exclusions should only be made on the grounds of a pupil’s behaviour. Nothing in the Act conflicts with this guidance.
- Local authority schools in Scotland should comply with any guidance produced by the Scottish Government on schools admissions.
- Independent schools (other than Academies) do not have to follow the exclusions guidance from DfE, the Welsh Assembly government or Scottish Parliament and can set their own exclusion policies. However, they must comply with the Equality Act and must not discriminate against pupils by excluding them or subjecting them to any other detriment. Their exclusions policies must not be discriminatory.
- Academies must comply with the DfE guidance in the same manner as maintained schools in England have to.