If a school unfairly excludes a child with a disability, this may amount to disability discrimination.

A child is disabled if they have a long-term physical or mental impairment which has an adverse effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities (this is the definition in the Equality Act 2010).

A school may have discriminated against a disabled child if they were aware of the child’s disability, and the exclusion was because the child is disabled or because of something which happened because of their disability. This could be because of a school policy which is in fact discriminatory towards pupils with disabilities. You should consider whether the school has made reasonable adjustments to accommodate the child’s disability (e.g. giving the child SEN Support in school – see chapter 6 of the SEN and Disability Code of Practice).

However, the school may be able to argue that there was a legitimate reason for the exclusion such as health and safety.

If you think the school may have discriminated against your child, see the section on disability discrimination.