Student Fitness to Study and Disciplinary Action Policy

This policy covers fitness to study, the use of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), using the least restrictive measures and as a last resort disciplinary actions or physical intervention.

Introduction & Context

Homefield College recognises its duty of care to all students and staff and this policy applies to all students who receive care and support from Homefield College staff. This policy applies to all students, full and part-time, enrolled at the College or any of its collaborative partner institutions.

This policy considers the individual student’s interests regarding successful study and also considers the interests of the wider community. This policy is not punitive in nature and seeks to find a supportive solution where possible.

Any outcome imposed under this policy will be informed by a comprehensive risk assessment and advice from relevant clinicians.

Behaviours of concern are when a student’s behaviour impacts on themselves and / or those around them.

We have adopted the model of Positive Behaviour Support to help understand these behaviours of concern. We assess the social and physical environment, and work with the student to find solutions to help support them, better meet their needs, and offer more effective coping strategies.

Purpose & Scope

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that appropriate action is taken to support the needs of students who are experiencing emotional, behavioural, social, mental, or physical health difficulties in Homefield College.

We use data-driven and evidence-based analysis to decide what actions should be taken to support our students to succeed and realise their potential. This forms a base from which we can provide targeted support through additional provision and bespoke interventions from the therapies team.

As a college we identify, and support students’ needs through the process of positive behaviour support and all staff are trained in Nappi (non-abusive psychological and physical intervention) level 1, within 6 months of joining. Where needed staff are also trained at level 2 and 3. The curriculum, therapy, and safeguarding team review students regularly to ensure a cohesive approach to support.

Where a person is assessed to have capacity to understand their behavioural presentation and they continue to display behaviours when needs have been met, we will follow the disciplinary process.

This policy is applicable to all Homefield College students and to all prospective students from the point at which they formally accept an offer of a place.

Behaviours of Concern

We provide a tiered level of support to all our students, with all receiving support that helps them achieve their potential. We then provide further assistance to individuals where it is required, that is targeted and specific to their needs based on assessment and evidence. Our staff use a low arousal, total communication approach, modelling and using active support for students. We teach independence skills and involve students in decision-making to provide them with choice

Serious Incident

Serious incidents, including the use of restrictive physical intervention, injury to staff / students or where people are placed in immediate danger, should be immediately reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or if unavailable, a member of the Senior Management Team.

A review process will then take place, with all appropriate bodies (e.g., parents / carers, social workers, local authorities) informed. A structured review / debrief will always be carried out following a serious incident for all involved, focussing on what lessons have been learnt.

Restrictive Physical Intervention (RPI)

RPI is only ever used as a last resort, where all other de-escalation strategies have been unsuccessful.

Only NAPPI Level 2 or Level 3 trained staff must undertake physical intervention. There must be two NAPPI level 2 or 3 trained staff to make the decision.

RPI is used for the least amount of time possible. It must be reported to Safeguarding and logged within PBS cloud.

All incidents of RPI will be investigated and measured against being reasonable, proportionate and necessary.

Where any RPI has taken place, physical health observations must be maintained by direct support staff, clearly evidenced based on physical appearance, rate of breathing, change of colour and any irregular presentation of behaviours.

Any use of RPI will have been pre-determined through assessment with necessary consent or best interest decisions behind them. However, in emergency situations an immediate best interest decision can be made by two trained staff.

There is a separate log of RPI as well as restrictive practices. Refer to the Behaviour Team for this.

Student Documentation

All students have Laleman scales and Homefield Passports which identify their individual needs and how best to support them.

Reporting & Follow-up

It is the responsibility of all staff members to report incidents using the reporting system on PBS cloud for behaviours, My Concern for safeguarding and all others on Databridge – this is to be completed as soon as possible after the incident and before the end of the working day. All incidents logged are analysed by our Behavioural Support Specialists / safeguarding team / curriculum co-ordinators and help form the assessment process for individual functional behaviour assessments, as well as overall support plans for the college.

Staff and students are provided with a debrief session when there has been an incident involving destructive, dangerous, or lethal behaviour in order to explore what happened, support people need as a result and what we can learn from the incident to lessen risk of repeat behaviour.

Precautionary Suspension

The Head of Quality & Curriculum, the Designated Safeguarding Lead, or a member of SMT only, can make the decision to suspend the student pending the referral to the Fitness to Study Committee (FSC) or a disciplinary meeting.

A Suspension is not a judgement or disciplinary sanction and can only be considered so if it is for more than one expected day of attendance. It is a mechanism to secure the protection of members of the Homefield College community and/or to be able to carry out an investigation whilst keeping all safe.

A suspended student will be asked to leave the campus, but only following the organisation of transport and ensuring that parents / guardians / carers are made aware (where applicable). Where transport is not available or where the student is under 18, they will be asked to remain in the College until guardians have been contacted but will remain in the care of the Site Supervisor. In such circumstances every effort will be made to minimise the effect of suspension on the student’s capacity to engage in a learning experience and their access to student services.

The student will receive a letter within five (5) working days of the suspension outlining the causes for the suspension and a date for the initial FSC hearing or disciplinary meeting.


A student is identified for referral. The route taken is determined by a group made up of the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Head of Curriculum & Quality, Therapy Manager, Curriculum Operations & Student Progress Manager and / or Curriculum Development & Student Progression Manager. This will either be the Fitness to Study route or the Disciplinary route.

For the Fitness to Study route, staff will advise student of the procedure and then told a Fitness to Study Committee (FSC) meeting. The outcome will be communicated to the student. If unhappy with the outcome, they can then appeal to the Prinicpal if the criteria is met to do so. The evidence will be recorded and the process concluded.

For the Disciplinary route, it will go to Stage 1, followed by escalation to Stage 2 and Stage 3 if the issue continues. Students can appeal to the Head of Curriculum & Quality if the criteria is met to appeal for Stages 1 and 2, and to the Principal for Stage 3. The evidence will be recorded and the process concluded.

Grounds for a Referral

Prior to any referral under this policy all appropriate avenues of support such as pastoral care from Mentors, Progress Coaches, Counsellors or the Safeguarding team or reasonable adjustments should have been considered and, where appropriate, implemented with subsequent evaluation of their effectiveness.

The College will, where applicable, notify the SEND Coordinator at the student’s local authority when a referral is made under this policy.

Fitness to Study

Where there are grounds to believe that, by reason of emotional, physical, mental and/or ill health, a student’s continued status as a student or continued presence on Homefield College’s premises poses a risk to the welfare, health or safety of the student, or other students, staff or visitors, or a risk of damage to Homefield College’s property, or where a student fails to engage and/or respond to intervention and / or support strategies, a College Manager or SLT member may refer the case to a Fitness to Study Committee (FSC) hearing.

The Head of Curriculum and Quality will nominate a College Manager to prepare the evidence to support the case in preparation for the FSC.

FSC outcomes

The FSC may decide upon one or more of the following outcomes.

a) no further action and the lifting of any suspension imposed

b) continued status and presence as a student, subject to fulfilment of a course of action or treatment with appropriate review arrangements in place

c) partial or selective prohibition of access to Homefield College facilities.

d) a period of suspension from the College

e) expulsion from the College

Where outcome d) applies, the student will be required to provide medical or other appropriate evidence before being allowed to return to the College.

Where outcome e) applies, finance advice and careers service advice will be offered, and referrals will be made where applicable to outside agencies.

The student will be notified within five (5) working days of the outcome of the FSC hearing and shall have the right of appeal to the Principal against the outcome.


The disciplinary route will be followed when there is a need identified to regulate the standards of conduct and behaviour of students when their needs have been met. The aim is to correct unacceptable behaviour through learning and where applicable restorative justice to support students as they progress into adulthood with the expectations of society. The appropriate stage of the disciplinary policy is identified in the process document that supports this policy.

Disciplinary outcomes

The disciplinary process may result in one or more of the following outcomes.

a) No further action and the lifting of any suspension imposed.

b) Action plan, including restorative justice where appropriate, and agreement with student to follow to demonstrate change in actions.

c) Partial or selective prohibition of access to Homefield College facilities or identified students.

d) Mutual agreement for withdrawal from study programme.

e) A period of suspension from the College

f) Expulsion from the College

Where outcome e) applies, the student will be required to provide appropriate evidence before being allowed to return to the College.

Where outcome f) applies, the decision must be confirmed by the Principal. Finance advice and careers service advice will be offered, and referrals will be made where applicable to outside agencies.

The student will be notified within five (5) working days of the outcome of the disciplinary process and shall have the right of appeal to the Principal against the outcome.

Appeals against the outcome determined by the FSC or Disciplinary Process.

Appeal to the Principal

Any appeal by a student must be lodged in writing to Linda Crump, Admissions & Transitions Manager, Homefield College, 217 Loughborough Road, Mountsorrel Leicestershire LE12 7AR. The letter must state the reasons for the appeal and be received within five (5) working days from the date of the FSC decision letter.

An appeal will be admitted on the following grounds:

a) The conduct of the FSC hearing and its effect on the outcome

b) Evidence which was not submitted to the FSC for good reason.

c) Evidence that has emerged subsequent to the outcome determined by the FSC.

The Principal will review the documentation and may call for additional evidence or request that the student attend an interview in order to investigate the appeal further. The student has the right to be accompanied by an advocate including a friend or family member or other non-legal representative.

Wherever possible the Principal will inform the student of the outcome of the appeal within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal.

The Principal may uphold, set aside, or vary the outcome determined by the FSC.

The decision of the Principal is final. There is no further appeal permitted under this policy.

Data Protection

There is a risk of harm arising through use or misuse of personal information. Some of the ways this risk can happen is through personal information being:

  • Inaccurate, insufficient, or out of date
  • Excessive or irrelevant
  • Kept for longer than necessary.
  • Disclosed to individuals without consent from, or knowledge of the data subject.
  • Used in ways that are unacceptable to, or unexpected by the data subject.
  • Not kept securely

Documents relating to our residents are securely stored in a lockable cupboard in line with GDPR legislation. Documents relating to our students are securely stored on Databridge and internal servers. Access to personal data is restricted, and personal data that is no longer necessary or relevant, is either destroyed accordingly or archived.

Monitoring Arrangements

This policy is to be reviewed annually in line with any changes to legislation. It is the responsibility of the Senior Management Team to ensure the policy remains up-to-date and in line with all relevant legislations such as:

  • The Equality Act 2010
  • The Prevent Duty 2015
  • The Medicines Act 1968
  • The Autism Strategy 2021 – 2026
  • Mental Health Act 1983
  • Children & Families Act 2014
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Health & Safety at Work Act 1974

Links with Other Policies & Procedures

  • Safeguarding
  • Fitness to study and disciplinary process

Approved by: Senior Management Team
Last Updated: February 2024
Next Review: August 2024
Staff Lead: Therapies Manager and Head of Curriculum & Quality