Fixed-term exclusions

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 provision 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 DfE 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.

Read our factsheet which includes practical ideas 'Managing multiple fixed-term exclusions for your child'


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)


Where a Suffolk school (including Academies and Free schools) believe a child is at risk of exclusion they are expected to make a referral to the 'In Year Fair Access Panel (IYFAP), held monthly across the county.


This referral can only happen with parental permission and schools will discuss with parents and the young person about possible outcomes, examples include placement at a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU), discussions about a Managed Move to another school, or involvement from specialist services such as an Educational Psychologist or Mental Health.




Read the government guidance around Alternative Provision

You can also contact the local authority directly with any questions or concerns relating to exclusions, the IYFAP process and alternative provision. 

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

Frequently asked questions (exclusions)