Call our free helpline0808 808 3555
Call our free helpline
0808 808 3555
Schools can discipline pupils if they break the rules. The
school behaviour policy should set out how they will do this. For
ongoing challenging behaviour, or more serious 'one-off' offences,
pupils may get a fixed period (temporary) exclusion, or a permanent
Only the head teacher, or acting head, can exclude a pupil.
The school will usually ring to tell you your child is being
excluded and ask you to take them home. The head must also write to
you straight away (law says 'without delay'). The letter or email
You can write to the school governing body to give your views.
You can also ask to meet with them. For longer fixed term
exclusions, the governors will automatically meet. Their role is to
check that the head followed the exclusion procedures properly and
made the right decision.
For an exclusion longer than five and a half days the governors
have the power to allow your child back into school. If the
governors do not reverse a permanent exclusion, you can ask for an
Independent Review Panel (IRP) to look at the decision. The
Independent Review Panel can ask the governors to reconsider the
exclusion. If your child is disabled, you can also make a
disability discrimination claim to the First Tier Tribunal for
Special Educational Needs and Disability.
The school keep asking me to take my child home. They
say it isn't an exclusion.
Whenever a child is sent home because of their behaviour, even
for a short time, this must be recorded as an exclusion. The school
shouldn't ask you to take your son or daughter home just to 'cool
off' after an incident, or because there is no adult support
available. This is an unofficial exclusion, which is illegal, even
if you agree to it.
The school want my child to come to school part-time
Sometimes a part-time timetable can be helpful, for example, to
ease a pupil back into school after a long absence. This should
only be done with your agreement. The school should discuss with
you when the arrangement will be reconsidered and when your child
can return to school full-time. A part-time timetable should be to
help your child. It should not be put in place because the school
does not have enough support. Unless they are ill, your child
should be in school for the full school day, like other pupils of
The school keeps excluding my son/daughter who has
special educational needs (SEN). Is this allowed?
The head can exclude your son/daughter if the offence is
considered too serious for lesser punishments such as detention.
However if your child's behaviour is related to SEN or disability,
the school should first consider whether there are better ways of
managing behaviour or giving extra help. If your child needs more
help than the school can give, they may need an
Education Health and Care (EHC) plan.
My son/daughter has an Education, Health and Care (EHC)
plan. Can they be permanently excluded?
Yes, if the head decides your child has seriously broken the
rules and that they would be a danger to others if they stayed in
school. However, exclusion should always be a last resort and
the school should take into account a pupil's SEN or disability if
this was a factor in the exclusion. If there are concerns about
your child's behaviour, an early review of their EHC plan should be
Finally - if you are worried about
If there are problems in school, exclusion can give you the
chance to discuss your worries with school staff and other
professionals and may be the first step to getting the support your
child needs. If you need advice or information about your
situation, please contact our education advice
specialists on 0808 808 3555 or post
a query on Facebook.
We also support Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Give our
helpline a call on 0808 808 3555 for information and advice on any
aspect of raising a disabled child, or call your local contact.
Find out our local office details in the In your area section.