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Suspension of Pupils from School - An Aspect of Juvenile Justice?

NCJ Number
Howard Journal of Penology and Crime Prevention Volume: 19 Issue: 3 Dated: (1980) Pages: 156-165
R Jennings
Date Published
10 pages
The article deals with the processes of school suspension in England: the decision to send a pupil home and the procedures used from a legal perspective.
Suspension of pupils from school stands out sharply from other disciplinary actions in that it involves both the child's right to a continuous free education and the parents' obligation to enforce attendance. For each school, the authority by which pupils may be suspended is set out in the Articles of Government, drawn up by the local education authority and requiring the approval of the Secretary of State (for secondary schools). Most follow the clause in the Model Articles published in 1945 which allows the headmaster the power of suspension for any cause deemed adequate but requires reporting the suspension to the governors who must consult the local education authority. Controversy surrounds the practice of suspension, the enforcement of school attendance, and the legality of expulsions in face of the right to continuous education. Also, the community and professionals are at odds over who should control the setting up of procedures for suspension. Because of the serious consequences of expulsion or long-term suspension, criticism of suspension procedures is being levied by the legal profession, and the question of judicial considerations in suspension proceedings has arisen. Although national guidelines could be useful, locally accepted procedures are essential and should reflect good relationships and communication within the local system. A few notes and 12 references are included.