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School exclusion

Only the headteacher has the power to exclude a child. A decision to exclude a child permanently should be taken only:

  • in response to serious breaches of the school’s behaviour policy; and
  • if allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or
  • welfare of the pupil or others in the school

If there are signs a child is having difficulties at school, it is essential for:

  • parents to discuss any concerns with the school
  • schools to bring any problems to the attention of the parent
  • parents and schools to work together to identify any reason for the change of behaviour/difficulties

Types of exclusion

There are 3 forms of exclusion.

Fixed term

An exclusion from school for a specified amount of time.


When a child has been excluded for lunchtime period.


The headteacher believes that your child should not be allowed back at the school.

What happens when your child is excluded

Your child’s school will let you know about an exclusion as soon as possible and follow up with a letter including information about how long your child is excluded for and why. You should also be told how to challenge the exclusion, if you want to. For the first 5 school days of an exclusion, it’s your responsibility to make sure your child is not in a public place during normal school hours unless there is a good reason. From the 6th day of exclusion until the exclusion expires the school must provide suitable supervised full-time education.

Parent guide to exclusions (PDF, 191 KB)

Local Authority day 6 provision for secondary age children

Mayesbrook Park School website

Further information

Gov.uk has statutory guidance regarding your child’s exclusion.

Coram Children’s Legal Centre provides free legal advice and information to parents on education matters. 

Child Law Advice Service provides legal advice and information on family, child and education law affecting children and families in England.

ACE Education Advice & Training provides independent advice and information for parents on education issues in England. They offer a limited advice line service during term time.

Toolkit for families to navigate the exclusions process

School Exclusion Hub 
Information and resources for professionals and community organisations supporting children and their families through challenges to school exclusions.

Special educational needs

If your child has special educational needs, then a local, independent service is also available to advise you. The service is provided by Carers of Barking and Dagenham - Information Advice Support Service (IASS).

Council for Disabled Children - Information, Advice and Support Services Network (IASSN).

National Autistic Society (NAS) School Exclusion Service (England).

Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA).