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Services in Christchurch

Exclusion from School

Exclusion means that a child is not allowed to attend school or go onto school premises for either a fixed period or permanently.

Fixed period exclusion

A child may be excluded for up to a total of 45 school days in any academic year. Normally fixed period exclusions are issued for a period between 1 to 5 school days (but schools can issue longer exclusions). A date will be given for when the child is allowed to return to school.

Permanent exclusion

A child is permanently barred from the school premises. 

The legal framework concerning exclusion is set out in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.

The Department for Education has issued Exclusion Guidance. Annex C of the Guidance provides information intended to support parents’ understanding of the exclusion process.

Who can exclude a pupil?

Only the head teacher (or acting head teacher in the absence of the head teacher) can exclude a pupil.

Head teachers can only exclude a pupil for a disciplinary reason (for example, because their behaviour violates the school’s behaviour policy). A head teacher can exclude for behaviour outside of school, or for repeatedly disobeying academic instructions.

If your child is excluded you will be contacted by telephone by the school. This will be followed by a letter from the head teacher explaining the reasons for the exclusion, your responsibilities and your rights.

Can the school send my child to be educated somewhere else?

Schools have the power to send a pupil to another education provider at a different location to improve their behaviour without the parents having to agree.

Managed moves

A school can arrange a 'managed move' to another school provided they have the agreement of everyone involved, including the parents and the admission authority of the proposed school. A 'managed move' would be regularly and carefully reviewed by both schools with appropriate targets set for the child to meet. If the child is successful in meeting the targets and wants to remain at the new school, they would be placed on roll after approximately 12 school weeks. If the child is unsuccessful, they will be returned to their original school.

Managed moves may operate differently in other local authorities/areas. 

Can the school ask me to take my child home early or take my child out of school? 

Informal or unofficial exclusions, such as sending pupils home 'to cool off', are not allowed, even if they are with the agreement of parents. Any exclusion of a pupil, even for short periods of time, must follow the formal process including being formally record. Any fixed period exclusion must have a stated end date.

Schools cannot force a parent to remove their child permanently from school or encourage a parent to keep their child out of school for any period of time without following the formal exclusion process. The threat of exclusion must never be used to influence parents to remove their child from school.

Options if your child is excluded

You can make representations to the school’s governing board when your child receives 5 or more days of exclusion in a term.

The governing board must consider:

  • permanent exclusions
  • fixed term exclusions totalling 15 or more days in a term
  • fixed term exclusions that mean a child will miss a public exam
  • fixed term exclusion totalling more than 5 days in a term where a parent has asked the governors

The governing board can decide to uphold or overturn the decision of the head teacher. For more information, please call the Exclusions Team.

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