There are two types of exclusion from school:

  1. Fixed Term Exclusions – up to 45 days in any school year
  2. Permanent Exclusions

Head Teachers should only use exclusion as a last resort and only if the pupil’s action is a serious breach of the Schools’ Discipline Policy and if remaining in school will seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or other children in the school.

Fixed Term Exclusions

Parents have the right to make representations and attend a meeting with the Governing Body in response to fixed term exclusions of more than five days. For exclusions of less than 5 days there is no automatic right to attend a meeting but representations can be made in writing and a meeting can be requested. The school must provide work for your child to do for the first 5 days and must make arrangements for setting and marking the work. The School must provide full time education for your child from  the 6th school day following the exclusion. If the exclusion is for more than 15 school days then the Governing Body must meet.

There is no right of appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel about a Fixed Term Exclusion. However if you believe that the reason for exclusion was related to your child’s disability then a claim of disability discrimination may be brought before the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Permanent Exclusion

The school must notify you in writing that the Head Teacher has made a decision to permanently exclude your child from the school and must give reasons for the exclusion. Parents have the right to make representations about the permanent exclusion and to attend a meeting with the Governing Body. The Governing Body will decide whether or not to uphold the Permanent Exclusion.

If the Governing Body upholds the exclusion there is a right of appeal to an Independent School Exclusion Appeal Panel (IAP). The IAP will also consider matters related to a claim of disability discrimination in relation to the permanent exclusion.

The IAP may either dismiss the appeal, uphold the appeal and direct reinstatement or, in exceptional circumstances, may uphold the appeal but not direct reinstatement.

If your child is permanently excluded from school then the Local Authority must arrange full time education for your child (between 21 and 25 hours per week depending on the age of your child) from the 6th day following the permanent exclusion.

Watkins Solicitors have many years of experience in advising parents whose children are at risk of, or have been excluded from school. We are able to help with preparation of written representations, preparation for and attendance / representation at Governing Body meetings, Independent Appeal Panel hearings and the Special Educational Needs & Disability Tribunal.

Contact our education law solicitors in Bristol, Bath, Hereford and Evesham

For specialised legal advice and guidance, please get in touch with our friendly and professional solicitors.

We have offices in Bristol (Southville and Fishponds), BathHereford and Evesham, as well as working with clients across the rest of the UK and internationally. To discuss your case in more detail, please call us on 0117 939 0350 or email info@watkinssolicitors.co.uk.