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Excluded from school

Only the head teacher of a school can take the decision to exclude a pupil, normally due to serious and offensive behaviour.

There are two types of exclusion – for a fixed period (e.g. a few days) and permanent.

Fixed period exclusion

If a child is excluded for a fixed period (up to 45 days in one school year) the head teacher must inform the parents immediately, including reasons for exclusion and the date when the pupil should return to school.

Parents will also be informed of their right to put their views to the governing body. This is a group of governors who have had no involvement with the incident leading to exclusion and is there to consider whether the school acted correctly. They will then decide whether the exclusion should go ahead or be overturned.

When a pupil is excluded for more than one day, the head teacher will make arrangements for the pupil to do work at home.

For the first five school days of an exclusion, parents are legally required to make sure their child is not present in a public place without reasonable justification. Parents may be fined or prosecuted if they fail to do so.

In exceptional cases (usually when more evidence has come to light) a fixed period exclusion may be extended or made into a permanent exclusion.

Permanent exclusion

Permanent exclusion means the pupil is not allowed to return to the school he or she is being excluded from.

If a pupil is permanently excluded, the head teacher will notify parents immediately. The governing body will then meet with the head teacher, parents, pupil and a council representative within 15 school days to discuss the exclusion.

If it is your child who is being excluded, you can present your own case against the exclusion or ask a friend or legal representative to speak on your behalf.

Once the governing body is satisfied it has all the information it needs, it will consider upholding or overturning the exclusion. Parents will be notified of this decision in writing, usually within one school day.

If the governing body decides to overturn the school's decision, the pupil can go back to school as soon as possible.

If the governing body decides to uphold the school’s decision, parents have the right to ask for a further hearing before an independent appeals panel. A letter will be sent to parents explaining how to do this.

If parents decide not to appeal or if permanent exclusion is confirmed by the independent appeals panel, Medway Council must make alternative arrangements for the pupil to receive education. This will often mean the pupil is allocated a place at another mainstream school or, if this is not appropriate, at a pupil referral unit.

Further information