Behaviour Concerns and Exclusions

The Virtual School can provide support for children in care and previously looked-after children where there are behaviour concerns at school or the child is at risk of exclusion.

Behaviour Concerns & Exclusion

Behaviour and exclusion guidance

Good discipline in schools is essential to ensure that all pupils can benefit from the opportunities provided through education.

To understand how a school deals with challenging or poor behaviour, it may be useful to read the school’s behaviour policy: Each school has its own behaviour policy that is available on their website.

Schools will usually make use of a ladder of consequences which will outline types of behaviour and consequences as a result of a type of behaviour: Exclusion is the most serious of sanctions.

Follow the link below for guidance and support with the exclusion process:

Behaviour concerns – guidance for looked-after and previously looked-after children

Education settings should always be considerate of a child’s looked-after or previously-looked after status, alongside the needs of the whole school.

Where there are behaviour concerns with a looked-after child the Virtual School should be informed in order to support improvement.

Where there are behaviour concerns with a previously looked-after child, the Virtual School are able to support, at the request of the parents. 

Adverse experiences, including abuse and neglect can impact on a young person’s behaviour and ability to learn, therefore the design and implementation of school behaviour policies should allow for this.

Care experienced children are more likely to have SEND needs and mental health experiences, due to adverse childhood experiences. it is therefore essential that key school staff are aware of the potential needs of looked-after and previously looked-after children, in order to provide support accordingly.

When applying the school’s behaviour policy, schools should:

  • Be considerate of the looked-after child’s current circumstances and possible previous trauma that may be affecting the child’s current behaviour and development: The allocated social worker can provide relevant information.
  • Try to deal with poor behaviour using positive and supportive strategies, based on trauma informed approaches.
  • Offer some flexibility when selecting and delivering sanctions/consequences, particularly when using isolation and exclusion.
  • Consider the use of individualised graduated responses.
  • Make additional efforts to work with parents/carers to support the school in handling the child’s behaviour, working together to address any concerns at home and school.
  • Consider triggers that may have led to the behaviour

Serious behaviour concerns and/or the risk of exclusion – guidance for looked-after and previously looked-after children.

It is important to remember that looked after and previously looked after children can be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of exclusion. Head teachers should therefore, as far as possible, avoid excluding any looked-after child or previously looked-after child.

In addition to the guidance above, the multi-agencies involved in the child’s network should:

  • be expedient in the request for additional support/guidance from the Virtual School.
  • proactively engage to inform an assessment of the child’s needs and any safeguarding concerns.
  • share information and consider options, including immediate additional support, additional services (including Behaviour Support Team, CEPS, SEN) and alternative placements (where necessary).
  • consider the use of Routes to Inclusion (available to Nottingham City Schools) – a behaviour strategy to provide a systemic, graduated response to meeting the needs of children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.

Further Guidance Information

Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England

Mental health and behaviour in schools

Behaviour and discipline in schools: guidance for headteachers and staff

Routes 2 Inclusion