Permanent exclusion from school

1. Overview

Permanent exclusion

Only the Headteacher, Principal or Acting Head of a school can suspend or permanently exclude a pupil on disciplinary grounds. If your child has been excluded, you can download our detailed guidance. 

A permanent exclusion is when a pupil is no longer allowed to attend a school (unless the pupil is reinstated). The decision to exclude a pupil permanently should only be taken:
• in response to a serious breach or persistent breaches of the school's behaviour policy; and
• where allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others such as staff or pupils in the school.

How does the exclusion process work?

Your child’s school will let you know about a permanent exclusion as soon as possible. They will follow up with something in writing, telling you the reason for your child’s permanent exclusion. If your child has a social worker, they will also be told about your child’s permanent exclusion.

A permanent exclusion can start immediately (on the same school day as the behaviour occurred) or on another school day.

If you disagree with your child’s permanent exclusion, you have the right to challenge the decision and how you do this must be set out in the letter your child’s school sends to you about the permanent exclusion.

Your child's future education

During the first five days of your child’s exclusion, the school must provide work and mark it. The local authority will then contact you and arrange alternative education for your child from the 6th day. This type of education is called alternative provision and includes education provided at pupil referral units.

Advice and support

The Governing Body meeting

The governors must meet to consider any exclusion that triggers a compulsory review. They must do so within 15 school days of the imposition of the exclusion. This is according to Regulation 24 of the Exclusion Regulations.

The following exclusions should trigger a compulsory review:

  • All permanent exclusions;
  • Any suspension that takes the total number of school days that the student has been excluded to more than 15 in any one term;
  • An exclusion that would result in a young person missing a national examination or test.

You will be invited to attend this and can be supported by a friend or advocate. You can send written information for the governing board to consider before the meeting. The school should explain how to do this. You can also request that the meeting is held remotely.

As a parent, you will have the chance to explain why you think your child should not have been suspended or permanently excluded and why they should be reinstated. You may also be asked questions.

Advice and support

Independent Review Panel

Independent Review Panel

If the Governing Body does not overturn the exclusion, you can ask for an Independent Review Panel hearing. Requests for a hearing must be

  • in writing and
  • made within 15 school days from receiving confirmation of the decision

The decision letter from the Governing Body will provide more details about the deadline and where you must send your review request.

At an Independent Review Panel meeting you can

  • present your case against the exclusion yourself, or
  • ask a friend or legal representative to speak for you

Independent review panels have the power to

  • uphold the exclusion decision
  • recommend that the Governing Body reconsiders the decision, or
  • reject the decision and tell the Governing Body to reconsider the exclusion

The decision of the panel is final. The pupil, parents, Governing Body, headteacher, local authority and (for an academy) the Academy Trust must all follow the decision.

Questions on exclusion review process

Contact the East Sussex School Appeal Service on

Telephone: 01273 482290 

Email: School Appeals

Advice and support