A brief guide for parents and young people (in school 6th forms)

This booklet does not apply to Independent Schools, 16-19 Academies or 6th Form Colleges.

Only the head teacher of a school can exclude a pupil. Exclusion is a serious step for a head teacher to take and can be very worrying for both the child and parents. Head teachers should take into account their legal duty of care when sending a pupil home following an exclusion. They must consider any additional reasons that caused the disruptive behaviors eg; bereavement, mental health issues or bullying.

Pupils can be fixed term (a specific number of days) or permanently excluded (cannot return to the school). The most days a pupil can be fixed term excluded in one school year is 45 days in total. 

Pupils can only be excluded for disciplinary reasons.

Children can be excluded for their behaviour outside school.

If a child has a Special Educational Need (SEN), the school should be checking they are having the right support to avoid exclusion.  Disruptive behavior can be caused by unmet needs.

Schools should try to identify the causes of disruptive behavior and this should include an assessment of whether the child/yp may have SEN or a disability and put the right support in place. This may be at SEN support, the graduated approach level. This could be a multi agency assessment bringing professionals in from outside school eg; psychologist, health professionals, Family Support Plan (FSP) or Early Help.

Please see our booklet on SEN Support booklet.

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Under the Equality Act 2010 schools must not discriminate against a pupil because of their disabilities.  They have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to policies, practices and their daily environment including auxiliary aids and services.  This does not include changes to buildings. Schools must make sure their policies and practices do not discriminate against pupils by increasing their risk of exclusion.