Fixed term exclusion from school

A fixed term exclusion is when a pupil is not allowed to attend school for a 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.

How does the exclusion process work?

Only the head teacher (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 the reason why your child has been excluded and your rights to appeal against this decision. The school will tell you when your child can return to school.

The school will also notify the County Council about the decision to exclude your child.

Does anyone review the decision?

The Governing Body of your child’s school has a duty to review certain exclusions and they must consider any comments you have on the exclusion.

You are strongly advised to attend the governors meeting. At the meeting you may present your case against the exclusions yourself, or ask a friend or legal representative to speak on your behalf.

Exclusions of 1-5 days

If your child has been excluded for 1-5 days in one term, the Governing Body can consider comments that you make, but has no power to overturn the exclusion.

They must place a copy of their findings on your child’s school file. In this case, the Governing Body has the discretion to arrange a meeting if you request it in order to discuss the exclusion.

Exclusions of 6-15 days

If your child has been excluded for 6-15 days in one term, you can request that the Governing Body arrange a meeting to review the headteacher’s decision to exclude your child.

Governors will only meet if you request a meeting, but they do have the power to overturn such exclusions.

Exclusions of 16 days or more

If your child has been excluded for 16 days or more in one term, the Governing Body must hold a meeting to review the decision. This meeting will be held between the 6th and 15th school day of the exclusion.

Any Governing Body decision is final, unless there are exceptions under the Disability Discrimination Act.

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

During the first five days of any exclusion, the school will provide work and arrange for it to be marked. During this time, your child must not be present in a public place (including public transport) without justification. If your child is found in a public place during this period you could be prosecuted and given a fixed penalty notice.

If your child is excluded for more than five days, the school must provide alternative suitable full time education for your child. The school will inform you of the details of this.

Who can help?