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Exclusion from school

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Advice and information for parents

When a child is excluded from school it’s sometimes difficult for parents to know what they should do next.

This information will help you to understand the exclusion process and your rights and responsibilities as a parent.  It will also tell you where to get advice and support.

All school exclusions are governed by national guidance.

A headteacher can exclude your child if he or she misbehaves in or outside school.

Exclusion should only be used as a last resort. This is when the headteacher feels that if the pupil stayed in school, it would do serious harm. This harm would be to the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school.

What happens when your child is excluded

Your child’s school will let you know about an exclusion, usually on the same day. They’ll 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.

Risk of prosecution if child is found in public place

For the first 5 school days of an exclusion your child shouldn't be in a public place during school hours. This is unless there is a good reason. It is your responsibility to make sure this happens.

You might be prosecuted if your child is seen in public during school hours when they’re not supposed to be.

There are two types of exclusion - a fixed term or permanent exclusion.

Different types of exclusion

Fixed period exclusion

A fixed period exclusion is where your child is temporarily removed from school. This is usually between one and three days, but can be up to 45 days in any one school year. This includes if your child has changed school.

The Headteacher must inform you of their decision to exclude your child on the same day. The Head will write to you with a date for your child to return to school.

Exclusions up to five days in one school term

The school must provide work for your child to do at home, which you will be responsible for collecting.

Parents and carers can make representations to the school’s governors to appeal against the exclusion. Governors must consider these representations, but do not necessarily have to meet with parents.

Exclusions of between five and 15 days in one school term

Schools should provide excluded students with full-time education provision from the sixth day of any exclusion.

Parents and carers can request to meet with the school governors to consider the exclusion.

Exclusions of between 16 and 45 days in one school term

Education should continue to be provided for your child whilst they are excluded.

The governors must meet to consider the exclusion. You will be invited to attend this meeting.

Lunchtime exclusions

Pupils can be excluded from the school site during lunchtime. Parents are responsible for their child during this time. If your child is entitled to have free school meals, the school must arrange them.

Lunchtime exclusions should not normally be used for longer than five days.

At the end of the exclusion

You and your child may be asked to attend a reintegration interview at the school. This is when your child returns to school.

Permanent exclusion

A permanent exclusion is when the headteacher decides that your child should not return to that school.

The headteacher must write to you stating the reason for the exclusion. The Head must inform you of your right to make representations to the school’s governing body.

What happens after a permanent exclusion?

The school’s governing body will arrange an exclusion meeting to consider the headteacher’s decision to exclude your child. You will be invited to attend and state your views. Before the meeting you should submit any documents and statements that you would like the governors to consider. At the meeting you will be able to ask questions and bring witnesses. It is up to you whether your son/daughter attends and whether you take with you a friend or representative.

The governors can make one of two decisions:

  • to allow your child to return to school by overturning the exclusion. A date will be agreed for your child to return to school.
  • to uphold the headteacher’s decision to permanently exclude.

Camden Council becomes legally responsible for your child’s education after permanent exclusion. We will contact you to discuss your child’s continuing education.

Can I appeal against the governors' decision?

Yes. If the permanent exclusion is upheld, you will receive a letter. This will inform you that you have 15 school days to decide whether to challenge the governors' decision. This is at an independent review panel (IRP). The IRP is independent of the school and will consider the same evidence provided at the governors’ exclusion meeting.

The IRP has three options:

  • to uphold the exclusion decision.
  • to recommend that the governing body reconsiders their decision.
  • to quash the decision and direct the governing body to consider the exclusion again.

Exclusion for children with special educational needs

Is the exclusion process the same if my child has special educational needs (SEN)?

Schools should as far as possible use alternatives to exclusion for children with special educational needs. This is particularly the case for those who are in the process of being assessed for a statement.

The special educational needs team should be consulted before a permanent exclusion takes place.

Further advice and support

Independent organisations

Camden Council services