Permanent exclusion

Permanent exclusions should be a last resort particularly for children with Special Educational Needs.

Department for Education Statutory guidance says…

“The decision to exclude a pupil permanently should only be
• in response to a serious breach or persistent breaches of the school’s behaviour
policy; and
• where allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or
welfare of the pupil or others such as staff or pupils in the school.” (3.11)

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

If you have any questions or concerns about an exclusion decision:

The local authority has a duty to arrange suitable, full-time education for children of compulsory school age, from the sixth day of a permanent exclusion.

They should be in contact with you following a permanent exclusion but you can contact them with any questions or concerns:

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

What if I don’t agree with the exclusion?

  • Speak to the Head Teacher as soon as you are told about the exclusion, (as this is not formally agreed until the governing body has considered)
  • use the opportunity of the Governing body meeting to raise any questions or concerns that you (or your child/young person) have
  • Look at our factsheet around preparing for a governing body meeting or an Independent Review Panel (PDF)
  • 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. 1 Suspensions and permanent exclusions guidance)
  • Only in exceptional cases, where additional evidence has come to light, can a further suspension or a permanent exclusion be issued to begin after the first suspension.
  • Exclusions may only be given by the  Head Teacher who has a duty to notify parents and if relevant Social Worker and virtual School Head without delay. This must be done 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

The Department for Education Exclusions Guidance states that: 

…the law does not allow for extending a suspension or converting a suspension into a permanent exclusion. In exceptional cases, usually where further evidence has come to light, a further suspension may be issued to begin immediately after the first period ends; or a permanent exclusion may be issued to begin immediately after the end of the suspension


Where the Governing body decides to ‘uphold’ the permanent exclusion and you disagree with the decision, you have a further opportunity to make your representations (raise any questions or concerns) by requesting an Independent Review Panel (IRP).

Disability Discrimination

If you believe that your child has been disadvantaged due to their disability, you may also wish to make a claim to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) (within six months of the exclusion). Read more on our ‘Raising concerns‘ page

Watch this UCL video explaining the Head Teacher’s decision and duties