Fixed term exclusion from school

A fixed term exclusion is when a pupil is not allowed to attend school for a specific period of time.

Pupils can be excluded for a fixed term more than once. The total exclusion time in a single school year cannot be more than 45 school days.

Schools should aim to avoid exclusion by providing behaviour support in school. Schools should only exclude for disciplinary reasons.

They should not:

  • send your child home for disciplinary reasons without issuing a fixed term exclusion
  • exclude because they can’t meet your child’s special educational needs.
  • exclude for something your child might do in the future
  • exclude because of your actions as parents

How does the exclusion process work?

Only the headteacher (or the most senior teacher in their absence) can exclude a pupil.

If a head teacher decides to exclude your child, the school will contact you by telephone as soon as possible. The school will also write to you explaining:

  • why your child has been excluded,
  • your rights to appeal, and
  • when your child can return to school.

The school will also notify the County Council about the exclusion.

Can I appeal?

Exclusion of 1–5 days in one term

The Governing Board must consider any comments you make about the exclusion. But it does not have the power to decide whether to reinstate the pupil. They don’t have to arrange a meeting with you, but they may agree if you request it.

Exclusion of 6–15 days in one term

You can ask the Governing Board to arrange a meeting to review the head teacher’s decision to exclude your child. They will only meet if you request it. They must consider your comments and have the power to overturn the exclusion.

Exclusions of 16 days or more in one term

The Governing Board must hold a meeting to review the head teacher’s decision within 50 days of the exclusion. We advise you to attend.

Any Governing Board decision is final.

What happens to my child while they are out of school?

During the first five days of any exclusion, the school must provide work and arrange to mark it. During this time, your child must not be in a public place (including public transport) without good reason. If your child is in a public place during this period you could get a penalty notice.

If your child is excluded for more than five days, the school must provide suitable alternative full time education for your child.

Who can help?