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Exclusion due to absence

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by icosahedron, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. icosahedron

    icosahedron New commenter

    One of my tutees has been excluded from a 6th form College due to one incident of threatening behaviour before Christmas but mainly due to falling below 85% attendance (she's around 75%). Her mum has five days to appeal and has asked me to help. English isn't her first language and I think she's having trouble understanding the nuances of the College's procedures.

    It looks like she can find a reason to appeal but I was wondering should this fail, what other options are available to have this decision reversed. I think it is morally wrong because it looks like she's passed her modules so far and the main reason appears to be the College protecting their Ofsted absence measure.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
  2. IlMentore

    IlMentore New commenter

    So... The 'punishment' for not being in the classroom is to keep them out of the classroom? It depends on the reasons for absence, in some ways; it's been a few years, but if it's largely caused by legitimate illness (whether physical or mental) I believe the school may be in breach of one or more sections of the Equality Act 2010. It doesn't matter much if the child has a registered disability; the policy (since I assume this is based on a published policy) may be unlawful because it could be used to discriminate against disabled pupils. It's just a shame there is that "incident of threatening behaviour" which they could potentially use, even if it does raise questions of why it took all this time to respond.

    If nothing else, offer a gentle reminder that the school has a legal responsibility to ensure that the exclusion is lawful, rational, reasonable, fair, and proportionate. I think 'proportionate' might be hard to argue either way in this case, but I'd say it definitely doesn't sound rational...
  3. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    FE is the pathway to work in the real world of work. I was an FE teacher and, of course, had worked outside in the real world for many years. There I would have lost my job if I'd only turned up for 75% of the time. Then again, if I'd shown threatening behaviour to the people who were paying my wages, I'd have been shown the door. You don't have to feel guilty about putting them out and filling their place with others who do want to attend, behave well, and work. This is FE,not school. That's my opinion.
  4. mmm...Milk

    mmm...Milk New commenter

    Why should a student who has 75%or less attendance get the same qualification as someone who has 99 or 100%? It completely devalues the qualification and makes a mockery of it. It also increases the work load of staff who then have to put in extra time just to get them to complete said qual even though the couldn't be bothered to come in. If I was sick I would have to ring in everyday, provide a sick note. Some of these full time students are only in 3 days a week anyway!
    singinintherain and saluki like this.
  5. serendippy

    serendippy New commenter

    If a student is not attending over a prolonged period (without medical certification), action should be taken by the college to 'remind' the student of his/her obligation to the course which THEY have signed up for. This represents a reasonable expectation by the college/teaching staff. The idea that teachers are running around making up for a students poor attendance is ridiculous! I remind readers of the word 'fail'

    • 1.be unsuccessful in achieving one's goal: "he/she failed in his/her attempt to secure election"
    • 2.neglect to do something: "the firm failed to give adequate risk warnings"
    In the real world failure is DEFINITELY an option, we all have to be responsible for our own actions and expect to be held to account when failing to do so.
  6. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Colleges always have procedures for this, including strict processes about warnings, stages and letters home.

    If the college have followed this correctly then the mother can appeal, but she will lose unless the principal has a bout of mercy.

    Check the policy, if they have followed it then I would tread carefully.

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