What is Exclusion?
Exclusion is when a child is not allowed to attend their school following a breach of the school’s behaviour policy. Exclusions can be lunchtime, fixed term or permanent.
Fixed Term Exclusions
Can be lunchtime or ½ a day and up to 45 days in any school year. Your child must not be in a public place during school hours while excluded.
The School should:
- inform you as soon as possible by telephone and by letter. This letter should include dates, reason for exclusion, any re-integration meeting details and who to contact
- provide work for your child to complete and return
- provide full time education from the 6th school day of exclusion onwards
- review all exclusions, by a governors pupil discipline committee who must also meet to discuss any exclusion/s totalling 15 days or more in a term. You may write to them or request a meeting if you feel the school has not acted fairly
Means that your child will not be allowed to return to the school again, unless the governors pupil discipline committee decides that they can. A head teacher should only permanently exclude when:
- a child seriously breaks the School’s Discipline Policy or breaches it on a persistent basis
- if a child were to remain in school, it would seriously harm his/her education or welfare or that of others in the school
The school should:
- inform you as soon as possible by telephone and by letter. This letter should include the reasons for the exclusion and details of your right to make representations about the exclusion to the governing body and how such representations should be made.
- inform you that you are legally required to ensure that, for the first five days of the exclusion, your child is not present in a public place during school hours without reasonable justification, and that failure to do so could result in a fixed penalty notice being issued to your or prosecution
- inform the Council of the exclusion.
- provide work for your child to complete and return for the first five school days
- arrange a meeting of the Pupil Discipline Committee between by 15th school day following the exclusion
- invite you and your child to attend the Pupil Discipline Committee meeting and send you copies of all the papers which will be presented to the governors, five school days before the meeting
The Council should:
- contact you as soon as possible to arrange education provision from the 6th school day following the exclusion
- attend the governors pupil discipline committee
- offer support and guidance regarding the procedures regarding exclusions. Please call 01325 406333for any advice.
What if I do not agree with the exclusion?
You have the right to express your views at the governor pupil discipline committee meeting. You must be notified of the date of the governors’ meeting. You should receive before the meeting, copies of reports that the Governors will consider, and you can submit your own report – you should be given the latest date for you to do this. You have a right to see a copy of your child’s school record.
What happens at the governors pupil discipline committee meeting?
The committee will be made up of at least three governors and a clerk. The head teacher and other school staff will attend as well as someone from the Council. You and your child can attend and you may take a friend or representative with you. You will be given opportunity to put a case forward - you may want to prepare by making notes of issues you want to raise.
At the meeting questions will be asked about support given, behaviours leading to the exclusion and any special circumstances. Once the governors have heard the views of the school, parents/carers, pupil and any information from the Council, they will ask everyone to leave the meeting while they make a decision whether to uphold or overturn the head teacher’s decision. You should be told of their decision in writing as soon as possible.
If I don’t agree with the decision what can I do?
You have the right to request an independent review panel to review a decision by a governors pupil discipline committee. You must lodge your appeal within 15 school days of you receiving the letter informing you of the decision. You will be informed of how to do this when you receive the decision letter from the discipline committee. The panel does not have the power to reinstate your child but can decide to:
- uphold the exclusion and refuse your application
- recommend that the governing body reconsiders their decision
- quash the decision and direct that the governing body considers the exclusion again. The panel may only quash the decision on the grounds of illegality, irrationality or procedural impropriety.
More information is available in the parents guide to exclusion appeals [pdf document] or you can contact the clerk to independent appeal panel on 01325 406333
If my child has additional needs, can the school exclude them?
The Head teacher must take account of policies and legislation regarding equal opportunities and discrimination when considering a permanent exclusion with special educational needs.
The Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS, formerly Parent Partnership) can provide you with more specific help and advice.
Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) [external link]
Coram Children's Legal Centre [external link]
Department for Education; guidance for exclusions from schools [external link]
School discipline and exclusion on GOV.UK [external link]