Being excluded from school means that a pupil has seriously broken the school rules. Exclusion is when a pupil is not allowed to attend school for a fixed period or permanently. Only the headteacher can exclude a pupil from school.

The government provides statutory guidance which headteachers ‘must have regard to’ when excluding a pupil from school.

Types of exclusion

  • Fixed period exclusion – is usually for a short period of time, ranging from half a school day up to a maximum of 45 days during a school year. The pupil returns to school at the end of the exclusion period or, in exceptional cases where further evidence comes to light, the suspension may be extended or converted to permanent exclusion.
  • Lunchtime exclusions – these are normally used when a child’s behaviour is unacceptable outside of the classroom, for example, in the playground. Parents/carers must take responsibility for their child for the lunch break and return him/her for the start of afternoon school. It is expected that these exclusions will be used for short periods only and there is a legal requirement on headteachers to notify parents/carers.
  • Permanent exclusion (expulsion) – this is when a headteacher decides that a pupil cannot return to the school because of serious or persistent breaches of the school’s behaviour policy, and where allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the pupil’s education or welfare or others in the school community.

If a pupil of compulsory school age is permanently excluded, the home local education authority is responsible for making sure the child gets suitable full-time education from the sixth school day following a permanent exclusion.

For further information and advice about exclusions, see ACE Reference Manual (Section 4)

Or contact Kyria Parsons, lead adviser for ACE at kyria.parsons@lbhf.gov.uk

Information on other websites and sources of free impartial advice

Coram Children’s Legal Centre
0300 330 5485

ACE Education
0300 0115 142 advice line, 10am to 1pm, Monday to Wednesday during term time