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Excluded Pupils

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether it is his intention to prevent children excluded from school from attending a public library. (95239)

No. The proposed offence at clause 100 of the Education and Inspections Bill will require the parents of pupils who have been excluded from school to ensure that their child is not in a public place during school hours during the first five days of exclusion.

The proposed legislation is framed in such a way that such parents could avail themselves of the defence of ‚Äúreasonable justification‚ÄĚ where circumstances prevent compliance with the duty. In the case of a child being in a public place, such as a public library, at the relevant time, it would be for the parent to prove their presence was reasonable. For example, the parent would have to demonstrate why the library could not have been visited outside of school hours.

Ultimately it will be for the courts to decide whether reasonable justification has been proved.