Governing body duties

The head teacher will notify the governing body and the local authority of:

  • any permanent exclusion (including where a fixed-period exclusion is followed by a decision to permanently exclude the pupil);
  • any exclusion which would result in the pupil being excluded for a total of more than five school days (or more than ten lunchtimes) in a term; and
  • any exclusion which would result in the pupil missing a public examination or national curriculum test.

The Governing body’s duties vary, depending on the length and type of exclusion. In the case of permanent exclusion, fixed-term exclusion for over 15 days in a term or any exclusion resulting in missing a GCSE or National Curriculum test, the Governing body must meet to consider reinstatement (within 15 days of exclusion notice).

 The Department for Education statutory guidance on exclusions says that “the governing board has a duty to consider parents’ representations about an exclusion.”

Governing body arranges the meeting

The governing body must invite and make reasonable endeavours to arrange the meeting for a date and time which suits:

  • parents; 
  • the Head Teacher; and
  • a representative of the local authority (in the case of a maintained school or PRU*).

*For other school types you may request a representative from the local authority attend, but the governing body would have to consent to them making any representations (ie. they may only be allowed to observe).

You can ask to take a friend or representative along to the governors’ meeting with you. You will get a list of who is going to attend the meeting, with copies of written evidence and information, at least 5 days in advance of the meeting.

Take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions on the Child Law Advice website for further information about the meeting process and the governors’ duties.

The meeting

You do not have to attend, but the meeting is an opportunity to ask any questions about the incident/s and the exclusion decision. You can also discuss related information such as your child’s SEN and the support they receive.

It is important to prepare your representations (views, questions & concerns) in advance of the meeting.  For further information and advice, please contact the SENDIASS team.

The decision

The governing body may decide to

  • direct reinstatement of the pupil immediately or on a particular date. 

Where reinstatement is not practical or you make clear you do not want your child reinstated, the governing body must still consider whether the head teacher’s decision to exclude your child was justified based on the evidence.

The governing body must notify you, the head teacher and the Local Authority of its decision, and the reasons for its decision, in writing and without delay. 

In the case of a permanent exclusion, the governing body’s notification must also include the following information:

  • the fact that it is permanent;
  • your right to ask for the decision to be reviewed by an Independent Review panel.