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Exclusion Arrangements

Head teachers can exclude your child if they misbehave in or outside school.

What happens if/when your child is excluded?

We will let you know about an exclusion as soon as possible. We will follow up with a letter telling you how long your child is excluded for and why.

You should also be told how to challenge the exclusion, if you want to.

Exclusions can start on the same day, but the school shouldn’t make you collect your child straight away.

Risk of prosecution if child is found in public place

For the first 5 school days of an exclusion, it is your responsibility to make sure your child is not in a public place during normal school hours unless there is a good reason.

You might be prosecuted if your child is found in a public place when they’re not supposed to be.

Child Law Advice has more information on what happens when a child is excluded.

Types of exclusion

There are two kinds of exclusion – fixed period (suspended) and permanent (expelled).

Fixed period exclusion

A fixed period exclusion is where your child is temporarily removed from school. They can only be removed for up to 45 school days in one school year, even if they have changed school.

If a child has been excluded for a fixed period, schools should set and mark work for the first 5 school days.

If the exclusion is longer than 5 school days, the school must arrange suitable full-time education from the sixth school day, e.g. at a pupil referral unit.

Permanent exclusion

Permanent exclusion means your child is expelled. Your local council must arrange full-time education from the sixth school day.

Alternative education and exclusion

The school or local council must tell you about any alternative education they arrange. It is your responsibility to make sure your child attends.

Making a complaint

If alternative education is not arranged within 5 days, or you are not happy with the education, you can complain to:

  • the school, for fixed period exclusions
  • the local council, for permanent exclusions

If you are not happy with the response, you can complain to the Department for Education (DfE).

You will need to show that you followed the school or council’s complaints procedure.

Challenging exclusion

You will get a letter from the school telling you what to do if you disagree with the exclusion.

You can ask the school’s governing body to overturn the exclusion if either:

  • your child has been excluded for more than 5 days
  • the exclusion means they’ll miss a public exam or national curriculum test
  • If the exclusion is for 5 days or fewer, you can still ask the governors to hear your views but they cannot overturn the head teacher’s decision.

Challenging permanent exclusion

You will be invited to a review meeting with the school’s governors if your child has been permanently excluded.

This will happen within 15 school days.

If the governors do not overturn the exclusion, you can ask for an independent review by your local council (or academy trust if the school’s an academy). The governors must tell you how to do this.

If your child is still excluded you can ask the Local Government Ombudsman to look at whether your case was handled properly. They cannot overturn the exclusion.

Discrimination and other complaints

You can make a claim to a court or a tribunal if you think your child has been discriminated against. You need to do this within 6 months of the exclusion.

Contact the Equality Advisory Support Service for help and advice. For more general complaints (e.g. if you do not want to challenge the exclusion but you are not happy with the way the school handled it), follow the normal school complaints process.