§ Lord Clement-Jones
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is the relationship between the draft revised guidance on exclusion from school and the forthcoming disability discrimination duties which protect disabled pupils from exclusion. [HL4910]
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland)
The new provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act, which comes into force in September 2002, have been taken into account in the revised draft guidance on exclusions published in January 2002. Schools will be under new duties not to treat disabled pupils less favourably than their non-disabled peers without justification and to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled pupils are not placed at a substantial disadvantage. However, explanation of the new duties was beyond the scope of the draft revised guidance and readers, especially those involved in exclusion decisions or appeals, were strongly recommended to read and familiarise themselves with the code of practice produced by the Disability Rights Commission.