Legal Updates

Education: Expulsion of Pupil - Reinstatement

In the application of Q v Wolverhampton City School Admission Appeals Panel, the case against Q for assault on a school caretaker came before the Wolverhampton City School Admission Appeals Panel ("the Panel"). The claimant, Q, had been permanently excluded from school after the school caretaker tried to stop an attack against a fellow pupil who was being repeatedly kicked by a group of pupils, and the caretaker was assaulted during this incident.

The case came before the Panel pursuant to the Pupils Expulsion and Appeals Regulations1. The Panel found that there was insufficient evidence to find that the caretaker was assaulted by the claimant. The Panel (as part of its investigation) interviewed the claimant, the claimant's head teacher and parents regarding their reaction to the claimant being reinstated.

Although the claimant's appeal against permanent expulsion was upheld (a letter was sent to the claimant - "the Decision Letter"), the Panel decided not to reinstate the claimant.

The Panel decided that it was not practical (while it was justified) to reinstate the claimant, because the relationship between the staff of the school and the claimant had irretrievably broken down. The claimant made an application for judicial review of this decision and contended that:

   1. The Panel had been wrong, having raised the question of reinstatement in the course of submissions, to have failed to request specific address or evidence as to whether or not to reinstate the claimant; and
   2. The Panel had failed to give sufficient reasons for its decision not to direct the claimant's reinstatement.

The application for judicial review was dismissed:

   1. The appeal panel, in asking questions of the claimant, the claimant's headmaster and the claimant's parents regarding reinstatement, had made it perfectly apparent to the claimant's legal representative that the problem of whether or not to reinstate the claimant was in the mind of the Panel. The claimant's legal representative should have raised the matter at the hearing and he could have called further evidence or have cross-examined the head teacher on this issue.
   2. With regard to the reasoning of the Panel regarding the irretrievable breakdown in the relationship between the claimant and the school, there was an abundance of material outside of the Decision Letter to which the court had regard that elucidated why the appeal panel had decided not to order reinstatement.

If you require further information contact us.


© RT COOPERS, 2005. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.




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