School discipline and exclusions
Headteachers can exclude your child if they misbehave in or outside school.
What happens when your child is excluded
Your child’s school will let you know about an exclusion as soon as possible. They’ll follow up with a letter telling you how long your child is excluded for and why.
You should also be told how to challenge the exclusion, if you want to.
Exclusions can start on the same day but the school shouldn’t make you collect your child straight away.
Risk of prosecution if child is found in public place
For the first 5 school days of an exclusion, it’s your responsibility to make sure your child isn’t in a public place during normal school hours unless there is a good reason.
You might be prosecuted if your child is found in a public place when they’re not supposed to be.
Child Law Advice has more information on what happens when a child is excluded.
Types of exclusion
There are 2 kinds of exclusion - fixed period (suspended) and permanent (expelled).
Fixed period exclusion
A fixed period exclusion is where your child is temporarily removed from school. They can only be removed for up to 45 school days in one school year, even if they’ve changed school.
If a child has been excluded for a fixed period, schools should set and mark work for the first 5 school days.
If the exclusion is longer than 5 school days, the school must arrange suitable full-time education from the sixth school day, eg at a pupil referral unit.
Permanent exclusion means your child is expelled. Your local council must arrange full-time education from the sixth school day.
Alternative education and exclusion
The school or local council must tell you about any alternative education they arrange. It’s your responsibility to make sure your child attends.
Making a complaint
If alternative education isn’t arranged within 5 days, or you’re not happy with the education, you can complain to:
If you’re not happy with the response, you can complain to the Department for Education (DfE).
You’ll need to show that you followed the school or council’s complaints procedure.