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School exclusions

If a pupil is excluded from a school or pupil referral unit it’s because:

  • they have broken the school’s rules for behaviour (school behaviour policy)
  • allowing them to stay in school would harm the education or wellbeing of other students

Types of exclusion

There are 3 types of exclusion:

  • Fixed period: excluded for one or more periods of 45 school days or less
  • Lunch time: excluded from the site during lunch time periods (the equivalent of a fixed period exclusion for one half school day)
  • Permanent: excluded from a school permanently

Only the head teacher or teacher in charge of a pupil referral unit, or person acting on their behalf, can exclude a pupil from school.


Parents can challenge a child’s exclusion by appealing to an Independent Review Panel. The Panels have the power to uphold the exclusion, recommend that school governors look at the case again, or overrule the exclusion and ask the governors to reconsider the case.

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