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Information & advice

School exclusions

Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) or Disabilities are much more likely to be excluded from school than their classmates. This guide explains what exclusion is, when it can happen, and what your or your child’s rights are.

What is exclusion?

Permanent and fixed term are the only types of exclusion from a school which are lawful.

  • Fixed term exclusion: this is when the head teacher excludes a pupil for a period of time. This may be from a lunchtime (classed as half a day) up to 45 school days per academic year.
  • Permanent exclusion: this is when a pupil is permanently excluded from the school and removed from the school roll; an alternative school must be found following a permanent exclusion.

Only the head teacher of a school (or the teacher in charge of a pupil referral unit or the principal of an academy) can exclude a pupil.  A head teacher can exclude a pupil because:

  • Behaviour: there has been a serious or continuous breach of the school’s behaviour policy
  • Education or welfare: where allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil

Our in-depth guide has lots more information on when and how a school can exclude you or your child and what your rights are if you have been excluded or are threatened with exclusion. Download it below.

In-depth guide

Our in-depth guide on school exclusions will help you understand your rights or the rights of your child if they have been excluded from school.