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What happens if a child gets excluded from school?

Exclusion is a very serious matter and should only be used as a last resort. Only a school's head teacher (or a named deputy if the head teacher is not on the school site) can exclude a pupil. A fixed term exclusion is where an exclusion is set for a specific period of time. A pupil may be excluded for one or more fixed periods (up to a maximum of 45 school days in a single academic year).

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Guidance for schools

Fixed term exclusion - Head Teacher's checklist

Fixed term exclusion - Flow chart

Exclusions for students with Education Health and Care Plan


Permanent exclusions

A permanent exclusion would, in most cases, be used as a last resort after all other strategies have been exhausted, and will usually follow several fixed-period exclusions. However, sometimes a pupil will do something so serious that, in the head teacher's judgement, permanent exclusion is justified to protect staff and/or other pupils at the school.

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Independent Review Panel

Permanent exclusion - Disciplinary hearings


Guidance for schools

Permanent exclusion - Head Teacher's checklist

Permanent exclusion - Flow chart


Managed Moves

A Managed Move offers a child the opportunity to move to a new school and have a fresh start. The transfer to the new school is carefully planned and the child is supported through the process.

You may consider a Managed Move if a child

  • is at risk of permanent exclusion but might succeed in a new school
  • has social, emotional or mental health difficulties or needs that have not improved as a result of the supportive strategies put in place by a child's school
  • finds that attendance at the current school is having a negative impact on their welfare

More information for parents and carers

More information for schools