Ealing schools and the local authority (LA) work in partnership to raise standards and achievement, and address the issues of behaviour and discipline within the school community. The LA recognises that in certain circumstances, a headteacher may feel they have no option but to exclude a pupil.
What exclusion means
A child will be excluded from their school because of unacceptable behaviour.
Who excludes a pupil
Only a headteacher can decide to exclude a pupil from school or, if they are absent, a deputy head, who should make it clear that they are acting in the headteacher's absence.
Types and definitions of exclusions
There are three types of exclusion:
- Permanent exclusion
This means that the headteacher has decided that your child should not return to the school .
- Fixed term exclusion
A fixed term exclusion is for a set number of school days, between one and 45 days in an academic year. The number of days will be stated in the letter that the headteacher has sent to you. The exclusion is temporary and your child will return to school at the end of the exclusion. Please note that the number of days stated by the headteacher relates only to school days and not weekends, holidays and teacher training days.
- Lunchtime exclusion
This type of exclusion is used to exclude a pupil for the lunchtime period only. The exclusion is treated as a fixed term exclusion equivalent to half a school day.
Exclusions for indefinite periods are not legal.
During the first one to five days of an exclusion (except for a lunchtime exclusion as specified above), you must ensure your child is not in a public place during school hours. If you fail to do so, you will have committed an offence under Section 103(3) of the Education and Inspection Act 2006 and will be liable to a fixed penalty. (There is no appeal process but you have a defence if you can prove you had reasonable justification for your failure to comply.)
If the exclusion is permanent or for six or more days, you must ensure that your child attends the alternative full-time provision which will be put in place from the sixth day (again except for lunchtime exclusions). Failure to do so could lead to action being taken against you for the non-attendance.
What to do during an exclusion
It is important for you to liaise closely with the school; the school will be setting and marking work for your child for the first one to five days of any exclusion. You have the right to see your child's school record, but due to confidentiality restrictions, you must put your request in writing.
What to do if you do not agree with the exclusion
If you do not agree with the headteacher's decision to exclude your child you have the right to state your views to the governors of the school. This can be done by writing to the governors, via the clerk to the governing body at the school's address.
- For exclusions of up to five days in one term
If you do not agree with the exclusion, you have the right to submit representations to the governors. The governors must consider and respond to your representations. You may also request that the governors meet to discuss the exclusion, but they do not have to.
- For exclusions between six and 15 days in a school term
If you do not agree with the exclusion, you have the right to submit representations to the governors. You also have the right to request that the governors meet to discuss the exclusion. If you make this request, the governors must meet within 50 school days of the date they were notified of the exclusion. The meeting is unlikely to take place before the exclusion ends and the governors are therefore unlikely to be able to direct reinstatement. However, the meeting can still provide the opportunity for all parties to make their views known. You have the right to present your views both in writing before the meeting and by speaking at the meeting. The governors may then add their written views to your child's school file.
- For all exclusions over 15 days in a school term (including permanent exclusions) or where your child will lose the opportunity to take a public examination
The governors must meet to consider the headteacher's decision to exclude and that meeting must take place between the sixth and fifteenth school day after the date they were notified of the exclusion. The governors will meet at a time convenient to you, school staff, the local authority representative and themselves.
If, due to exclusion, your child will miss the opportunity to take a public examination, the time limits do not apply and the governors will try to meet before the exam. A friend or relative may accompany you to the meeting to support you. It is advisable that your child attends, although it is recognised that this could be stressful for them.
Decisions the governors can make
The governors may decide that your child should be re-instated, in which case they will return to school as soon as possible. (For short exclusions the governors might not meet until after your child has returned to school).
If the governors uphold (agree with) the head teacher’s decision regarding a fixed term exclusion, your child will return to school once they have served the number of days or lunchtimes originally stated by the head teacher.
If the governors uphold (agree with) the head teacher’s decision to permanently exclude your child you have the right to request that an Independent review panel review the decision. Details of how to do this will be given in the governors’ decision letter sent to you after the meeting. The decision of the Independent Review Panel is final. If your child remains permanently excluded at the end of process, the LA (or the home LA if not Ealing) will be responsible for making suitable educational.
The LA can be contacted for advice on the process and procedures around exclusion. A representative of the LA will endeavour to attend all governors meetings for permanent exclusions and fixed term exclusions of more than 15 days. Their role is to advise the governors and to ensure that the school has followed DfE guidance. The LA representative will also attend any independent review panels.
Principal officer or support officer – Behaviour Service and Exclusions
2nd Floor, Perceval House
14/16 Uxbridge Road
Ealing W5 2HL
Telephone: 020 8825 5070
Impartial support, advice and information on disability and special educational needs (ISAID)
The ISAID service provides advice, information and support on education, health and care issues to children and young people with SEND aged up to 25 and their parents/carers.
An ISAID caseworker may support you with the exclusion process if you feel the exclusion involves your child’s special educational needs or disability.
Coram Children's Legal Centre
Organisation that provides free legal advice and information to parents on state education matters. The advice line is open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, except bank holidays and 24 December to 1 January.
Telephone: 0300 330 5485
Department for Education (DfE)
Exclusion procedures are outlined in the DfE guidance and can be viewed by typing ‘school exclusion’ in the search box on the GOV.UK website.
Somali School Home Liaison Team
Xidhiidhiyeyaasha dugsiyada iyo guryaha ee Soomaaliyeed: Haddii aad tahay qoys soomaali ah oo aad rabtid macluumaad kale oo ku saabsan eriga la xidhiidh
Telephone: 020 8825 5108