A headteacher of a school may decide to discipline a pupil because of their unacceptable behaviour. This may be for a serious one-off incident or a series of incidents.
Exclusion means that the pupil cannot be in school, near the school grounds or in a public place at any time during school hours, without a reasonable explanation. If they are, their parent or carer may be subject to a fixed-penalty notice or may be prosecuted.
Possible reasons for exclusion include:
- violent or threatening behaviour towards a member of staff or another pupil
- damage or threat of damage to school property
- sexual misconduct
- racist behaviour and bullying
- drug or alcohol related incidents
- carrying an offensive weapon
- inappropriate use of social media and online technology
When considering excluding a pupil, headteachers will look at all the evidence and make their decisions based on whether it was probable that the pupil did what they are accused of doing.
A head teacher can also exclude for behaviour outside school, on the way to and from school, and this can include school trips and behaviour that may bring the school into disrepute.
Types of exclusions
This is when a pupil has been temporarily removed from school for a specified period. A pupil cannot be given a suspension that brings the total to more than 45 days in one school year. You should (if the pupil is under 18 years old), be informed in writing without delay and given the details for the suspension and a date for a reintegration meeting. It is important for parents/carers and the pupil to attend this meeting. The letter of suspension will be included in the pupil’s school record and this information will also be provided to the Local Authority (and the key worker if the pupil has one).
If you don’t agree with the suspension, you have the right to make representation in writing to the governing board or the academy trust. To request that the governing board consider your concerns, you must write to the governing board, or the academy trust outlining your concerns to ask for a review of the headteacher’s decision.
For more information, view our school suspensions leaflet (PDF, 164.23 KB).
This is when a pupil is removed from the school permanently.
During the first 5 days of a permanent exclusion, the school will arrange for education to be provided. After this, the local authority where the pupil is registered is responsible for providing education. If the pupil is registered at a school outside of the borough, the local authority where the pupil attends school will make contact and notify the out of borough authority that the pupil has been permanently excluded.
The Governors’ Discipline Committee or academy trust must meet within 15 school days to review the Headteacher’s decision. Parents and carers (and the key worker if the pupil has one), should attend this meeting. At this meeting the school, parents, carers and all parties that have been invited to the meeting will make their case.
For more information, view our permanent exclusion leaflet (PDF, 165.98 KB).