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Advocacy Training Courses



  1. Welcome and introduction
  2. Facilitators will check receipt of documentation, and participants will give an idea of their background and experience, including contacts with supplementary schools and community organisations, for example.

  3. Nature and extent of school exclusions. Significant data and patterns of racial discrimination. An institutional problem rather than a fault in the pupil or family.
  4. This will consist of highlights from the documentation through a combination of statistical and anecdotal evidence. Institutional racism to be considered as the prime element in the mistreatment of certain groups.

  5. Participants personal knowledge/experiences.
  6. An opportunity to explore personal views of the wasteful, destructive effect of exclusions on pupils & teachers and schools & families.

  7. Classroom incidents – more effective management – through reflection and role play.
  8. An exploration of more effective ways of managing classroom relationships & behaviour and promoting self-discipline & and a sense of the occasion.

  9. DfEE Circulars 10/99 & 11/99 & related documents.
  10. Understanding the legal and procedural framework of school exclusions and consequently how to resist them.

  11. Real life case studies – discussion & preparation of the pupil’s case. These are based on cases we have been involved in. The papers are used on a confidential basis with the express permission of the pupils and their parents.
  12. Practise in questioning, presentation and summing up.
  13. Questioning is an important part of exposing weaknesses in the school’s case for excluding the pupil. Effective presentation combines a knowledge of the facts with an appreciation of the principles of natural justice that should be observed by the school in deciding to exclude. The final summing up is a brief outline of the main points you want the adjudicators to consider in finding for the pupil.

  14. Performance feedback
  15. Participants will hear from other participants and the facilitators how they did – the emphasis here is on being positive and constructive.

  16. Course evaluation.

Finally the facilitators wish to hear from course participants how well they found the course suited to their needs – from the pre-course pack to the conduct of the course itself as well as the participants’ plans to practice and refine their skills.

Course Aims and Objectives

The nature and extent of school exclusions, and their effect on individuals, families, schools and communities.

The dynamics of school behaviour and how best to deal with classroom, corridor and playground incidents.

The gaps between policy and practice in relation to Behaviour/Discipline, Sex Education and Drugs Education.

The relationship between Special Educational Needs (SEN) and exclusion, and the significance of Independent Education Plans (IEPs).

Institutional racism as a factor in the exclusion of Black students.

The role of mentors, mediators, counsellors – marginal containment or mainstream transformation?

Identifying outside agencies such as Education Welfare, Drugs Intervention Units & Youth Offending Teams, and enlisting their services for students and their families.

Supporting students and their families throughout the process – partnership, empowerment, belief and respect.

Appreciating the different skills necessary in a range of formal and informal interventions.

The law, the guidance and the procedures governing school exclusions.

Case preparation through face-to-face interviewing and examining documentation.

The advocacy/representational role at Governing Body Discipline Committee and Independent Appeal Panel hearings. Acting as instructed.

Understanding the CEN ethos throughout the above – modelling respect for others. Believing and believing in the student. Affirming the student’s central role. 

Pre-Course Preparation

§         Participants should study the CEN Website to understand the nature and extent of school exclusions as wasteful, destructive and discriminatory.

§         They need to study the pre-course package of materials which include statistical data and reference to significant cases.

§         They should acquire DfES Circulars 10/99 Social Inclusion: Pupil Support, and 11/99 Social Inclusion: the LEA role in Pupil Support – from the Department for Education and Skills Tel 0845 602 2260 and Fax 0845 603 3360.

§         They should ask the LEAs where they live for copies of the LEA School Exclusions Policy and data covering school exclusions, including fixed term and permanent exclusions broken down by age/stage, sex and ethnicity, and alternative arrangements including Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) placements.

The Programme

§  Welcome and introductions

§  Brief review of pre-course preparation

§  Short exercise on classroom incidents and teacher/school responses

§ DfES Circulars 10/99 and 11/99 and related documents

§ Outline of formal hearing procedures

§  Real life case studies (on a strictly confidential basis) for practice in questioning, presentation and summing up.

§ Performance feedback

§ Course evaluation

Follow-up and support

CEN will be able to offer advice as required. Trainees may wish to accompany CEN workers to hearings to observe the process at first hand.


09.30 Registration and coffee
10.00 Course commences
11.15 Coffee/tea break
13.00 Lunch break
13.45 Course resumes
15.00  Coffee/tea break
17.00 Departure


Students and Unwaged: 15.00
Individuals 30.00
Employees of small charities (Fewer than 6 workers) 40.00
Employees of large charities 50
Employees of statutory organisations 100.00

20% discount for members and negotiable rates for group bookings.

CEN can provide locally based tailor-made advocacy courses for parents groups and community organisations as well as for schools and local authorities at fees to be negotiated. Details on request.

CEN personnel are available for seminars, workshops and conferences. Information/study packs can be provided along with recommendations for future action. Details on request.

Further Information

CEN can provide a range of courses covering personal development, conflict resolution, restorative justice, inclusive schooling etc for students, parents, teachers and governors, all aimed at developing a sense of community and enhancing self-esteem and positive social and working relationships.

Click here for the 'One day exclusions Advocacy Training Course - APPLICATION FORM


At the end of the course participants will understand the destructive and discriminatory effect of school exclusions and they will have a good grasp of using the law and procedures in representing pupils at formal exclusion hearings.

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