Suspension & Permanent Exclusion
8 Opportunity to Respond
Parents/Guardians and student will normally be given an opportunity to respond to the complaint before a decision to suspend is made. Ideally this response will be made at a meeting involving the student, her parents/guardians and the Principal (or in the Principal’s absence, the Deputy Principal). If a student and her parents/guardians fail to attend a meeting, the Principal should write advising the parents/guardians of the gravity of the matter, the importance of attending a re-scheduled meeting and, failing that, the duty of the school authorities to make a decision to respond to the negative behaviour. The school will record the invitations made to parents/guardians and their response.
Right to Appeal
Where a decision is made by the Principal to suspend a student the parents/guardians have the right to appeal the decision to the Board of Management. The suspension will not normally be implemented until after such an appeal unless the behaviour in question warrants an immediate suspension (see above).
If the appeal is heard after the suspension has been implemented and if the appeal is upheld, then the record of the student will not include the suspension.
A decision by the Board of Management to suspend a student cannot be appealed unless the total number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year reaches twenty days. In such a case, the parents/guardians, or a student aged over eighteen years, may appeal the suspension under section 29 of the Education Act 1998, as amended by the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007. This appeal must be made within 42 days of receipt of the notification of the suspension.
At the time when parents/guardians are being formally notified of such a suspension, they and the student will be told about their right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills under section 29 of the Education Act 1998, and should be given information about how to appeal.
9 Implementing the Suspension
The Principal will notify the parents/guardians and the student in writing of the decision to suspend. The letter will confirm:
- the period of the suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end
- the reasons for the suspension
- any study programme to be followed
- that the student will be in the care of her parents/guardians during the period of her suspension from school
- the arrangements for returning to school, including any commitments to be entered into by the student and the parents/guardians (for example, parents/guardians and the student may be asked to reaffirm their commitment to the Code of Behaviour)
- the provision for an appeal to the Board of Management
- the right to appeal, if appropriate, to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills (Education Act 1998, section 29).
Students are advised to use the period of suspension for serious study and revision. School work may be assigned to be completed during the period of suspension.
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