Your child may be excluded from school by the headteacher for a number of reasons, and for anything from a half-day to permanently.
You can request a copy of the school's behaviour policy setting out the circumstances in which a pupil may be excluded.
School governors consider exclusions, but will only meet specially:
- When the exclusion is for more than 15 days;
- If the pupil has exclusions adding up to more that 15 days in one term; or
- If the exclusion is under 15 days and the parents make representation.
The governors will decide whether to uphold the head teacher's decision. Parents, and the pupil, where appropriate, can attend and speak at the meeting, or submit written representations.
If your child is excluded
The head teacher will write to you and let you know:
- Why, and the steps taken to try to avoid exclusion;
- The type and length of the exclusion;
- Arrangements to enable your child to continue his or her education;
- Your rights to put your case to the governing body, who you should contact and the date by which a written statement must be made to the governing body;
- Your right to see your child's school record; and
- The name and telephone number of the contact at the local authority who can provide advice on the exclusion process.
If the exclusion is permanent and if the governors uphold the head teacher's decision, you have right of appeal to an independent appeal panel.
If the exclusion is for a fixed period and you think disability discrimination has occurred, you can appeal or make a claim to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal at Mowden Hall, Staindrop Road, Darlington DL3 9DN.
You can read the parent/carer guide on exclusion by the Department for Education (pdf / 600 KB). This can be found in Annex C on page 56.
Frequently asked questions
There may be times when the school will ask you to collect your child at lunchtime. If a child is sent home it must be classed as an exclusion. If however you are being asked to do this on a regular basis it should only be as part of an agreed reduced timetable arrangement to provide support for your child and should not be a long term arrangement.
The head teacher should tell you how many days they want your child to go home for lunch and what arrangements they intend to put in place to enable your child to stay for lunch in future. If a child is told that they cannot stay in school for the lunchtime then it would be classed as an exclusion, unless the parent chooses to take the child home for the lunchtime
If this is not provided then this means your child has been excluded from school at lunchtime which should be recorded as a half-day exclusion.
What happens next?
If the number of days adds up to five days exclusion (ten lunchtimes) or more then you can ask to meet the governors.
If you or your school are concerned about your child's behaviour, the school should arrange a meeting to draw up a plan that will detail the support your child needs to help them. This plan might be an individual education plan or a pastoral support plan.
The plan should include details of how your child will be helped to achieve targets that are agreed at the meeting. It should list people who will be involved and explain what everyone, including you and your child, will do. It should also include a date for reviewing the plan.