Fixed-term exclusion

Schools must have regard to the SEND Code of Practice and the Equality Act 2010 (part 6 relates to schools), and the Head Teacher should consider whether assessment is required to identify any SEN, and that the appropriate support is in place.

It could also be helpful to read our information explaining support for children with Special Educational Needs, called SEN Support.

If your child has an EHC plan also take a look at our page 'with an EHC plan'


  • An exclusion can only be on disciplinary grounds, for example it would be unlawful to exclude a pupil simply because they have additional needs or a disability that the school feels it is unable to meet  (see 3.13 of the Department for Education Exclusions guidance).
  • In exceptional cases, where additional evidence has come to light, a fixed-term exclusion may be extended or converted to a Permanent exclusion.
  • Exclusions may only be given by the Head Teacher who has a duty to notify parents in writing and include the reason for the exclusion, the period of exclusion, parents rights to make representations to the governing body and how, and should also include links to sources of impartial advice and information.
  • The Head Teacher must immediately inform the governing body and the local authority of: a permanent exclusion; more than 15 days fixed-term exclusions in a term or where an exclusion results in a child missing an examination or national curriculum test.
  • The legal limit for number of fixed-term exclusion is 45 days in an academic year. (even where attended more than one school)

See our information within the tile 'Governing body duties' to find out what your next steps are if you have some questions or concerns about the exclusion decision.


Depicts a gavel (hammer used by a judge) to highlight law

Where a pupil has received multiple exclusions or is approaching the legal limit of 45 school days of fixed-period exclusion in an academic year, the head teacher should consider whether exclusion is providing an effective sanction. 

(section 20 of the Department for Education Exclusions guidance)


Schools (including Academies and Free schools) can make an Inclusion Service referral at any time - this is a universal referral process for alternative provision and tuition; specialist placements; specialist outreach services; and for the multi-agency assessment programme.

A school can also use this referral form to request to transfer a pupil to another school – a process called a ‘managed move’ - this would happen only with the agreement of everyone involved, including parents/carers and the admission authority for the new school. 

A referral would only be made with parental permission. You can view the referral form within downloads: 'Appendix 1 Inclusion Service Referral form.' 

See also:

Supporting challenging behaviour




Read the government guidance around Alternative Provision

You can contact the local authority directly with any questions or concerns relating to exclusions and alternative provision: 

The Suffolk County Council Inclusion Service & how to contact them.

Frequently asked questions (exclusions)