What is exclusion?
Exclusion is a disciplinary measure which the Headteacher of a school can use to deal with serious misbehaviour. When a pupil is excluded from school he or she may be removed from ordinary lessons or ordered to not return for a set number of days. By law only the headteacher or the designated acting headteacher can exclude a pupil from school.
Children can only be excluded if they have seriously broken school rules, continue to disrupt school lessons or if the school sees the child's presence or behaviour as a threat to others.
If the pupil has special educational needs then the school must take these into account before deciding if exclusion is the best course of action.
What happens when my child is excluded?
The school will contact you on the same day a decision to exclude your child is made. They will explain the reasons why he or she has been excluded, for how long the exclusion lasts and who to contact if you want to give your views. You will also receive a letter with details of:
- The exact period of the exclusion.
- The reasons for the exclusion.
- Your right to state your case to the school governors and how to do so.
There are two types of exclusion.
Fixed-term exclusion (also known as suspension)
This is when a school's headteacher writes to you to ask that you keep your child at home for a set number of school days. By law fixed-term exclusion cannot last more than 45 days in any one school year. If the child has been excluded for more than one day the school will provide work that must be completed by the child and returned to the school.
- For exclusions lasting between 5 and 15 days you have a right to attend a pupil discipline committee meeting where you can give your views of the exclusion.
- For exclusions lasting for more than 15 days you and your child will be invited to a pupil discipline committee meeting. You also have the right to ask the committee to send you the school's report on the exclusion before the meeting takes place.
You do not have the right to appeal against fixed-term exclusions.
Permanent exclusion (also known as expulsion)
This is when a school's headteacher writes to you to tell you that the school has decided to remove your child from their school roll permanently. The school's governing body will review the decision and you will be invited to give your views on the exclusion. If the governing body confirms the exclusion then you can appeal this decision through your local council. The letter you receive from the school will explain how to carry out this appeal.
Who can I contact if my child has been excluded?
Suffolk County Council is committed to providing excluded children with full-time education. To discuss your child's options contact our area inclusion co-ordinators:
- Ipswich area: 01473 265221
- Lowestoft area: 01502 674740
- Bury St Edmunds area: 01284 758784
Where can I go for more information?
The Suffolk Parent Partnership Service can offer support and information. You can contact their dedicated helpline number at 01473 265210 or go to their pages on this website.