Exclusions from school

A headteacher of a school may decide to discipline a pupil for their behaviour. This may be for a serious one-off incident or a series of incidents. Exclusion means that the pupil can’t be in or near the school grounds. If the pupil is seen in a public place during school hours, their parents or carer may be subject to a fixed-penalty notice.

Possible reasons for exclusion include:

  • violent or threatening behaviour towards a member of staff or another pupil
  • damage or threat of damage to school property
  • sexual misconduct, racist behaviour and bullying
  • drug or alcohol related incidents
  • carrying an offensive weapon

When considering excluding pupils, headteachers will look at all the evidence and make their decisions based on whether it likely that the pupil did what they are accused of doing.

A headteacher can exclude for incidents that take place going to and from school, even if a pupil is involved in an incident outside school hours and still wearing school uniform.

Types of exclusion

Fixed-term exclusion

This is when a pupil is been excluded from school for a fixed period of time. A pupil cannot be given fixed-term exclusions which total more than 45 days in one school year. You should receive a letter within one school day giving details about the exclusion and a date for a reintegration hearing. It is important for parents, carers and the pupil to attend.

The exclusion letter will be included in the pupil’s school record. However, you have the right to appeal if you don’t agree with the exclusion. To appeal, write to the chair of the Governors’ Discipline Committee outlining your concerns and asking for a review of the headteacher’s decision.

If the exclusion is over 15 school days in one school term, the governors will meet to review the exclusion. Parent and carers will be invited to this meeting and can make representation to the panel. The decision letter will be placed in the pupil’s school record.

For more information, see our fixed term exclusions leaflet (PDF , 97KB).

Permanent exclusion

This is when a pupil is removed from the school permanently. The Governors’ Discipline Committee will meet within 15 school days to review this decision. Parents and carers should attend this meeting. If the governors agree that the pupil should be permanently excluded, parents and carers can ask for this to be reviewed by an independent panel.

During the first five days of exclusion, the school will arrange for education to be provided. After this, the local authority where the child lives is responsible for providing education.  If the child is registered at a school in another borough, the local authority where the child attends school must notify the authority where they live.

For more information, see our permanent exclusion leaflet (PDF , 99KB).