The School Exclusion Project (SEP) is a City Law School project that provides free advocacy in term time, to help parents appeal against their child’s permanent exclusion.
The Award winning School Exclusion Project provides free representation in term time, to help parents challenge their child’s permanent exclusion from state and maintained schools.
The SEP specialise in disability discrimination and cases where an excluded child has special educational needs. These children are at a much higher risk of being permanently excluded, and therefore require greater protection and a louder voice.
The School Exclusion Project was highly commended in the ‘Best Contribution by a Team of Students’ category at the Lawworks Student Pro Bono Awards 2023.
We partner with Matrix Chambers and 11KBW Chambers to provide representation in school exclusion hearings.
The SEP specialise in disability discrimination and cases where the child has special educational needs. These children are at a much higher risk of being permanently excluded, and therefore require greater protection and a louder voice.
Why does the Project exist?
School exclusions are a major social problem. The first phase of the Children’s Commissioner’s Inquiry into School Exclusions, published in April 2012 (“They Never Give Up On You”) highlighted widespread illegal practice by schools in relation to school exclusions, the glaring disparities in exclusion rates for children with different characteristics (Black Caribbean boys and children with disabilities are significantly over-represented) and the serious adverse impact of school exclusions on the opportunities of excluded children.
The School Exclusion Project provide families and children who have been excluded with the opportunity to overturn the decision to exclude. The Project represents parents of children who have been permanently excluded from maintained state schools, academies, and pupil referral units. Please get in touch with us if you are in doubt about whether the school is in the Project’s scope.
What service do we offer?
We provide trained student representatives who help families to challenge their child's permanent exclusion from school, subject to the capacity of our service. We open in university term time only, and therefore cannot operate 12 months of the year.
How to access the service?
For information on the service visit the School Exclusion Project website.
To request assistance with your case please email email@example.com. The Project cannot be contacted by phone; this is the reason why we do not advertise a number. All contact must go through our email account. The terms of our service are advertised on the website, and you will be asked to review and sign our service agreement before we agree to help you.
We recruit students from the GDL and Bar courses to work in the project. The students receive training on the law. The places are advertised to students at City at the start of the first term. Spaces are competitively selected, as students have to provide a high level of commitment to the project, and knowledge of a relevant area, or transferable skills are desirable. We mostly recruit GDL students, although there are some places available to Bar students. Details are published on the LawIRL Moodle page at the start of term.