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The House of Lords' decision in Re L (A Minor by his Father and Litigation Friend), by upholding a broad interpretation of 'reinstatement', reconciles the duties of governing bodies with the rights of teachers to take industrial action. This article analyses this case in the context of the wider criticisms of the role of independent appeals panels and concerns about exclusions generally, and argues that the decision and the subsequent reforms in the Education Act 2002 privilege the traditional discretionary powers of head teachers over the rights of excluded pupils.
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