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Following an exclusion, when should I have received my paperwork?

When a head teacher excludes a pupil they must, without delay, (ideally in person or by telephone), let parents know the type of exclusion and the reasons for it.  They must also, without delay provide their decision in writing within 24 hours.

What is the law around exclusions?

There is Statutory guidance about the exclusion of pupils from local authority maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units see link below:

Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England

Or you may like to see our leaflet  A guide to exclusions  which highlights key points of the law.

What constitutes as an unlawful exclusion?

Informal or unofficial exclusions such as sending a pupil home to ‘cool off’ are unlawful, regardless of whether they occur with the agreement of parents or carers. If a head teacher is satisfied that a pupil has committed a disciplinary offence and needs to be removed from school for that reason then formal exclusion is the only legal method.  If your child has been excluded unofficially (i.e. without going through formal procedures) you may wish to contact the local Authority Inclusion Officer who deals with exclusions. (contact 03000 41 21 21).

Exclusions may not be given for an unspecified period.

Under the Equality Act 2010, schools must not discriminate against, harass or victimise pupils because of their: sex; race; disability; religion or belief; sexual orientation; because of a pregnancy / maternity; or because of a gender reassignment. For disabled children, this includes a duty to make reasonable adjustments to policies and practices.

It is unlawful to exclude or to increase the severity of an exclusion for a non-disciplinary reason. For example, it would be unlawful to exclude a pupil simply because they have additional needs or a disability that the school feels it is unable to meet, or for a reason such as: academic attainment / ability; the action of a pupil’s parents; or the failure of a pupil to meet specific conditions before they are reinstated, such as to attend a reintegration meeting. However, a pupil who repeatedly disobeys their teachers’ academic instructions could, be subject to exclusion. 

What is a reintegration meeting?

Schools should have a strategy for reintegrating pupils after exclusion. In many cases there will be a reintegration meeting when your child goes back. At this meeting it’s important to look at how you, your child and the school can all work together to prevent further exclusions. You may wish to ask for extra support for your child. If you haven’t been offered a meeting, you can ask for one.

Can the duration of an exclusion change?

In exceptional cases, usually where further evidence has come to light, a further fixed-period exclusion may be issued, to begin immediately after the first period ends; OR a permanent exclusion may be issued to begin immediately after the end of the fixed period

How can you challenge an exclusion?

If you feel that the exclusion is unjustified, or for an unreasonable length of time, or that your child did not do whatever they have been accused of, you can appeal to the governing board.