A school can exclude a pupil for a fixed term (of anything from half a day to 45 days) or can exclude permanently.
If a school excludes a pupil for a fixed term they must name a date on which the pupil can return to school. Schools are advised to make exclusions as short as possible so that the education of excluded pupils is not disrupted.
The school must provide work that the pupil can do at home for the first five days of an exclusion. The school must arrange an alternative placement from the sixth day, usually at another school in the city. If the exclusion is permanent, we will provide this.
A long fixed term exclusion is one of more than 15 days. These are rare and schools must hold a meeting of the governing body to discuss such exclusions. A meeting must also be held if a pupil is excluded for more than 15 days in any one term.
A permanent exclusion is a serious matter. A meeting of the governing body (sometimes called a Governors' Disciplinary Meeting, or GDM) has to be held within 15 school days of the start of the exclusion. Parents or carers are invited to attend the meeting together with the excluded pupil.
Governors will listen to evidence from the school and the family and decide whether the head teacher was right to exclude the pupil. Governors can direct the school to re-admit the pupil.
Parents or carers have the right to appeal to an Independent Review Panel if they feel that the governors have made a mistake in supporting the head teacher’s decision.
Parents or carers can take a representative with them to the GDM. This could be a family member, a friend of the family, a legal representative or an advocate.
You can get advice about exclusions from the Advisory Teacher for Exclusions.
You can get information about advocacy and support at GDMs from the Specialist Education Welfare Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Independent advice can also be obtained from Coram Children's Legal Centre , The Advisory Centre for Education - 08088 020 008.