The Headteacher of a school can take a decision to exclude a pupil from the school for a fixed period of days or permanently. This applies to maintained nursery schools, primary schools, secondary schools, nursery classes and sixth forms.
Children get excluded from schools for a variety of reasons, some incidents are relatively minor and others are very serious. Exclusions from schools are governed by the law and parents have the right to challenge any fixed term or permanent exclusion that they may feel is unfair through internal procedures. Exclusions should only be imposed as a last resort by the Headteacher and should not be imposed in the heat of the moment, fairness demands that the Headteacher makes their decision only after a thorough investigation has been undertaken.
What happens when your child is excluded?
Your child’s school will let you know about an exclusion as soon as possible. They’ll follow up with a letter telling you how long your child is excluded for and why.
You should also be told how to challenge the exclusion, if you want to.
Exclusions can start on the same day but the school shouldn’t make you collect your child straight away.
Complaining about a punishment
A parent can appeal against a fixed term exclusion of more than 5 days to the Governing Body of the School and has the right to appeal against a permanent exclusion to an Independent Review Panel (IRP) following an unfavourable decision by the Governing Body however the IRP can no longer order reinstatement of the child. The IRP will only be able to make recommendations, but its decision will still be binding on all parties.
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Exclusions should only be imposed as a last resort by Headteachers.
There are 2 kinds of exclusion - fixed period (suspended) and permanent (expelled).
Fixed period exclusion - A fixed period exclusion is where your child is temporarily removed from school. They can only be removed for up to 45 school days in one school year, even if they’ve changed school.
Permanent exclusion - Permanent exclusion means your child is expelled. Your local council must arrange full-time education from the sixth school day.
The school or local council must tell you about any alternative education they arrange. It’s your responsibility to make sure your child attends.