Denis Edwards appeared for the successful Appellant (D) in the Court of Appeal case of D v Independent Education Appeal Panel of Bromley London Borough and Another  EWCA Civ 1010.
Following the decision, the Department for Children, Schools and Families has amended the statutory School Exclusions Guidance to make clear that Independent Appeal Panels need to have evidence from the school as to why reinstatement should not be directed.
The Court of Appeal said that the school needed to be invited to advance reasons for objecting to reinstatement and that those reasons should usually be different from those advanced in support of the decision to permanently exclude. If the reasons are the same as those advanced in support of the decision to exclude, and that decision is overturned, then they are unlikely to be persuasive when opposing reinstatement. The parties can be invited within a single hearing to make submissions as to reinstatement on the contingent basis that the exclusion is not upheld. Alternatively they can be invited to do so once the first decision has been announced. Yet, it is contrary to natural justice for the parents to be unaware of the arguments put by the school against reinstatement and to be unable to address them.