Find out about types of exclusion, and what to do if this happens

A school may find it necessary to exclude a child or young person for disciplinary reasons. All schools must have a behaviour policy which sets out the school rules.  

There are 2 types of exclusion: 

  • suspension (sometimes referred to as fixed-term exclusion), when a child or young person is removed temporarily from school and cannot attend for a set amount of time  
  • permanent exclusion (sometimes called expulsion), when a child or young person is no longer allowed to attend their school.

GOV.UK have published a guide for parents on school behaviour and exclusions. This includes information on what happens when your child is excluded and where you can get support.

Excluded pupils with special educational needs or a disability (SEND)

The law does not prevent a pupil with SEND from being suspended or permanently excluded. However, schools cannot suspend or permanently exclude a pupil because of their disability. Reasonable adjustments may need to be made.

Speak to the school if your child has SEND and you are concerned they may be suspended or excluded. The school should work with you to ensure the right support is in place for your child.

If your child has an Education, health and care plan (EHCP), the school should speak to you about any behavioural concerns at an early stage. They should also contact the local authority and consider requesting an early annual review prior to making the decision to suspend or permanently exclude.

The Families inFocus website has information on exclusions. This includes a factsheet with steps you can take if your child has an Education Health and Care Plan, One Plan or does not yet receive support for SEND. 

Who to speak to if you disagree with the exclusion 

You can ask the school’s governing board to overturn the exclusion if either: 

  • your child has been excluded for more than 5 days 
  • the exclusion means they’ll miss a public exam or national curriculum test 

The governing board of the school will look at why the head teacher decided to exclude your child from school. You will be able to share your views or ask someone else to speak on your behalf. 

If the governing board does not overturn the exclusion, you can request a second hearing.  An independent panel will look again at the exclusion. 

For exclusions that are 5 days or fewer, you can still ask the governors to hear your views but they cannot overturn the headteacher’s decision. 

You can find more guidance on challenging an exclusion and independent review panels on the SEND IASS website.  

Find help  

Exclusion can be an upsetting time for you and your child. There are groups, charities and other parents in Essex who understand what you are going through. 

Search for local support