Governor (and staff) training on suspensions and permanent exclusions – feedback from the online training session for small-school governors - and dates for further training sessions.
Claire Styles, an Executive Committee Member for the Essex School Governors’ Association, attended the exclusions’ training session on 6th March, and has written an article for the ESGA website. The full article can be accessed at
EPHA ran an online training session on 6th March for governors of small schools, to highlight the benefits to governing bodies collaborating on statutory committees like exclusion panels. The challenge, for small schools especially, is that governors wear many hats and in close-knit communities it's harder to find impartial governors to sit on an exclusion panel.
Pam Langmead is the professional officer for EPHA and she counts 61 small schools in Essex with fewer than 120 pupils.
This training session supplements the DfE guidance to explain the role of governors, things to look for, questions to ask etc.
"Even co-opted governors may also be parents at the school, or could have heard details about the case from friends or neighbours, so a collaborative arrangement gives us access to truly impartial governors for an exclusion panel," explained Pam. One governor shared that they set up a collaboration within their school partnership.
"Also, having the infrastructure in place means you’re less likely to run out of eligible or available governors at a critical time." Pam has some suggested wordings to set up this statutory and standing committee, which has to be agreed in advance with defined terms of reference. The terms of reference document has to mention that they have this collaborative agreement in place.
In tricky situations, where governors seem too willing to accept the headteacher’s decision, collaborations are useful to prevent upsetting the relationship with the headteacher as well as ensuring that sound decisions are made. One governor recommended: "Make sure the chair of the panel is from another school, as they have the casting vote.”
The new data on exclusions will be published in April and this will offer a clearer picture of the post-Covid response to exclusion.
Pam reminded governors that: "The new DfE guidance on behaviour is linked with this guidance and all other avenues should be exhausted before this last resort is sought."
EPHA will repeat the training for governors (and staff) on the following dates and times:
- Wednesday 29th March at 6.00 pm
- Wednesday 19th April at 4.00 pm
- Thursday 11th May at 6.00 pm
Each session will last 2 hours.
Please ask any interested governors to contact me, Pam Langmead, at email@example.com – I will send them the Zoom link and slides in advance of the session. The links can also be found on the EPHA website in the list of dates and events.