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Children can be excluded from school for a fixed term - anything up to 45 days in a school year - or, if the situation is very serious, permanently.

Only a head teacher - or deputy head if the head teacher is away - can exclude a child from school.  They must notify parents of the period of exclusion without delay and send a letter regarding the exclusion.  

If your child is excluded for more than 5 days the school must provide full time education. 

If your child has been excluded permanently from a school you have the right to make representations to a special committee of the school's governors, known as the Discipline Committee.  The Council's Virtual Head for Children Missing Out on Education can offer advice on this process.

Read the Department for Education's guide on exclusions for more information.

Exclusion Reviews

If the school governors (Discipline Committee) uphold the exclusion you have a right to apply for a review of the decision.  The letter notifying you that the exclusion has been upheld will provide details on how to request a review.  Read our pdf icon guide on exclusion reviews [90kb] for more information.  The Department for Education's guide on exclusions also provides information on exclusion reviews.  You can also contact the Council's Virtual Head for Children Missing Out on Education for advice.

You must apply for a review within 15 school days of you receiving the governor's decision not to reinstate your child.

Review Panel

The Review Panel is independent of the Council and the school's governing body and consists of: a lay member who has not worked in a school as a paid member of staff; a governor - or former governor - of a maintained school; a head teacher, or someone who has been a head teacher in the last 5 years.  We advise that you attend the review hearing.  You can bring someone along to help you present your case if you wish.  You have the right to request that a special educational needs expert attends to give advice to the Review Panel.

Review Panel's Decision

The Review Panel cannot overturn the exclusion but they can make a recommendation to, or direct, the school's governing body to reconsider its decision to uphold the exclusion.  They would do so if they found irregularities in the exclusion process.  The Review Panel will investigate if a parent thinks their child has been discriminated against on grounds of race or disability.

You will receive the Review Panel's decision in writing as soon as possible after your review hearing.  You cannot appeal their decision but you can complain if you feel there were any procedural errors in the way your review hearing was handled.

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