School discipline and exclusions

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Challenging exclusion

You’ll get a letter from the school telling you what to do if you disagree with the exclusion.

You can ask the school’s governing body to overturn the exclusion if either:

  • your child has been excluded for more than 5 days
  • the exclusion means they’ll miss a public exam or national curriculum test

If the exclusion is for 5 days or fewer, you can still ask the governors to hear your views but they can’t overturn the headteacher’s decision.

Challenging permanent exclusion

You’ll be invited to a review meeting with the school’s governors if your child has been permanently excluded. This will happen within 15 school days.

If the governors don’t overturn the exclusion, you can ask for an independent review by your local council (or academy trust if the school’s an academy). The governors must tell you how to do this.

If your child is still excluded you can ask the Local Government Ombudsman (or the Education Funding Agency if the school’s an academy or free school) to look at whether your case was handled properly. They can’t overturn the exclusion.

Discrimination and other complaints

You can make a claim to a court or a tribunal if you think your child’s been discriminated against. You need to do this within 6 months of the exclusion.

Contact the Equality Advisory Support Service for help and advice.

For more general complaints (eg if you don’t want to challenge the exclusion but you’re not happy with the way the school handled it), follow the normal school complaints process.