School Exclusion

  • Governing body duties
  • Independent review panel (IRP)
  • Understanding the role of  SEN experts

Types of exclusion

There are 2 kinds of exclusion – fixed period and permanent exclusion.

Only the headteacher has the power to exclude your child. All exclusions must be for disciplinary reasons only. All schools must have a behaviour policy stating what the school rules are, and this must be published on the school website.

Fixed period exclusion

A fixed period exclusion means that your child is temporarily removed from school for a set number of days, for disciplinary reasons.

Fixed period exclusion is one of the sanctions a school can give, if a child does something that is against the school’s behaviour policy.

Most fixed period exclusions are for 5 days or less, but can be longer.

A child can only be removed for up to 45 school days in one school year, even if he/she has changed school.

A lunchtime exclusion is recorded as a half day exclusion from 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.

Special Educational Needs

If you think that your child’s behaviour is an indication of special educational needs, you can speak to your child’s teacher and the special educational needs coordinator (Senco) at the school.

You may want to ask for more/different help, and you can discuss how your child can be supported and if he/she needs further assessment.

You can also read the SEN Information report which is available on the school website. This gives information on how the school helps children with additional needs.

Permanent exclusion

A permanent exclusion is the most serious sanction a school can give if a child does something which is against the school’s behaviour policy.

Only the headteacher has the power to exclude a child and this must be for disciplinary reasons only.

Permanent exclusion should only be considered:

in response to a serious one-off breach of the school behaviour policy or persistent breaches of the school behaviour policy


where allowing the child to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of others in the school.

Permanent exclusion means that your child is not allowed to go back to the school (you will have an opportunity to meet with the Headteacher and school governors – this meeting will be arranged by the school).

Your child’s name will not be taken off the school roll until after the governors’ hearing.

Alternative education and exclusion

Your local council must arrange full-time education from the sixth school day of the exclusion.

The local authority must tell you about the alternative education they are planning to arrange. It is the responsibility of the parent to make sure the child attends.

Special Educational Needs

If your child is permanently excluded and has an Education, Health and Care plan, the school named in the plan will have to be changed, in consultation with parents and the Special Educational Needs department at the Local Authority.

If your child has an EHCP and is at risk of exclusion from school, you can speak to the school special educational needs coordinator (Senco) and an emergency/interim review of the EHCP can be considered, to discuss why your child is at risk of exclusion, and if further support or a change of school is required.

Links to Local Authority leaflets with information on school exclusions:

Enfield Council Leaflet – Fixed Period Exclusions:

Enfield Council Leaflet – Permanent Exclusions:

Government Guidance: Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England Statutory guidance for those with legal responsibilities in relation to exclusion:

There are a number of organisations that provide free information, support and advice to parents on school exclusions: 

Coram Children’s Legal Centre:

Telephone: 0345 345 4345

Ace Education – Information on Fixed Period Exclusions:

Ace Education – Information on Permanent Exclusions:

The National Autistic Society (Schools Exclusion Service):

Telephone: 0808 800 4002

Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA)