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Exclusion from school

What does exclusion mean?

Your child has been excluded from their school because of unacceptable behaviour. The decision to exclude can only be taken by the Head Teacher (the decision rests with the Deputy Head Teacher in the Head Teacher's absence).

There are three types of exclusion:

Lunchtime exclusion

This means exclusion from school over the lunch period only and counts as a half day exclusion for statistical purposes. The exclusion is treated as a fixed term exclusion where one lunchtime is equivalent to one half school day. Illegal exclusions include 'Cooling off periods' and exclusions for indefinite periods.

Fixed term exclusion

These exclusions last for a specific number of days but cannot be longer than 45 days in the school year. If your child has been given a fixed term exclusion, they must stay away from school during the dates specified by the school.

The school should notify you of the exclusion immediately (eg by telephone) and then a letter will be sent to inform you of the number of days and the reason for the exclusion; it should also provide details of who you can contact for advice. The exclusion is temporary and your child will return to school at the end of the exclusion. Please note: The number of days stated by the Head Teacher relates only to school days and not weekends, holidays or teacher training days.

Permanent exclusion

This means the headteacher has decided that your child should not return to school. Permanent exclusion should only be used as a last resort, in response to a serious breach or persistent breaches, of the school's behaviour policy and/or where allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school.

The school must inform you of the exclusion right away (such as, by phone) and then follow up without delay by letter. This will include details of why your child has been excluded and it should also provide details of who you can contact for advice.

What are my responsibilities?

During the first 1 to 5 days of an exclusion (except a lunchtime exclusion as specified earlier), you must make sure that your child is not in a public place during school hours. If you fail to do so you will have committed an offence under Section 103(3) of the Education and Inspection Act 2006 and will be liable to a Fixed Penalty Notice. There is no appeal process, but you have a defence if you can prove you had reasonable justification for your failure to comply.

If the exclusion is permanent or for 6 or more days you must ensure that your child attends the alternative provision which will be put in place from the 6th day (again except for lunchtime exclusions), failure to do so could lead to action being taken against you for the non-attendance.

What can I do?

It is important for you to liaise closely with the school. The school will be setting and marking work for your child for the first 1 – 5 days of any exclusion.

If you do not agree with the Head Teacher's decision to exclude you have the right to state your views to the Governors of the school, this can be done by writing to the Governors via the Clerk to the Governing Body at the school's address. You also have the right to see your child's school record but due to confidentiality restrictions you must put your request in writing.

For exclusions of up to 5 days in one school term:

You have the right to submit representations to the Governors. The Governors must consider and respond to your representations. You may also request that the Governors meet to discuss the exclusions but they do not have to.

For all exclusions between 6 and 15 days in on school term:

You have the right to submit representations to the Governors to request that the Governors meet to discuss the exclusion. If you make this request the Governors must meet within 50 school days of the date they were notified of the exclusion. The meeting is unlikely to take place before the exclusion ends and the Governors are therefore unlikely to be able to direct reinstatement.

However, the meeting can still provide the opportunity for all parties to make their views known. You have the right to present your views both in writing before the meeting and by speaking at the meeting. The Governors may then add their written views to your child's school file.

For all exclusions over 15 days in one school term (including permanent exclusions) or where your child will lose the opportunity to take a public examination:

The Governors must meet to discuss the Head Teacher's decision to exclude and that meeting must take place between the 6th and 15th school day convenient to you, school staff and the LA representative and themselves. If, due to the exclusion, your child will miss the opportunity to take a public examination, the time limits do not apply and the Governors will try to meet before the exam.

A friend or relative may accompany you to the meeting to support you. It is advisable that your child attends although it is recognised that this could be stressful for them. After listening to the views of all parties the Governors will reach a decision.

What decisions can the Governors make?

The Governors may decide that your child should be re-instated, in which case they will return to school as soon as possible. (For short exclusions the Governors might not meet until after your child has returned to school).

If the Governors uphold (agree with) the Head Teacher's decision regarding a fixed term exclusion, your child will return to school once they have served the number of days or lunchtimes originally stated by the Head Teacher.

If the Governors uphold (agree with) the Head Teacher's decision to permanently exclude your child you have the right to request that an Independent Review Panel review the decision. Details of how to do this will be given in the Governor's decision letter sent to you after the meeting.

The decision of the Independent Review Panel is final. If your child remains permanently excluded at the end of the process, the LA (or the home LA if not Calderdale) will be responsible for making suitable educational provision.

Further information and advice

  • Advisory Centre for Education - ACE provides independent advice to parents and carers of children in state-funded schools who are experiencing difficulties such as bullying, SEN, admissions and exclusions from school.

  • DFE: School Exclusion - Statutory guidance about the instances when the exclusion of a pupil from school is appropriate and the procedures the school should follow.

  • Children's Legal Centre - The Children's Legal Centre provides free legal advice and information to parents on education matters, phone: 0300 330 5485. For family enquiries, phone: 0300 330 5480.

  • Calderdale Data Works. Data on school exclusions in Calderdale by academic year from 2005/06 is available on our open data platform, This includes data by type of exclusion (fixed term and permanent), reason for exclusion and gender.

You can contact the Exclusions Officer:

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