Children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities are at greater risk of exclusion from schools or post-16 institutions. For more information see our section on exclusions. If you think your child may have been unfairly excluded because of their disability, see our section on disability discrimination.

Statute law

  • Education Act 2011 – this is the main statute which sets out what a school should do when excluding a pupil.
  • Education Act 2002 – this Act covers a wide range of topics, but section 52 still contains the basic power of head teachers to exclude a pupil from school, and it also contains provisions relating to the power of staff at school to search pupils.
  • Education and Inspections Act 2006 – this Act extended the law on schools’ power to discipline and makes parents responsible for ensuring their excluded child is not in a public place during the first five days of any exclusion. It also sets out the obligation on schools to arrange full time educational provision for pupils who have been excluded for a fixed term, while LAs have this responsibility where pupils have been permanently excluded.

Check here to see what changes have been made since the above Acts came into force.

Key regulations

Check here to see what changes have been made since the above Regulations came into force.

Statutory guidance

Non-statutory guidance and departmental advice

To the extent any of the following contradicts the statute, regulations or statutory guidance, it has no effect.  However, the following guidance and advice may be useful for parents/carers of pupils at risk of exclusion:

 For examples of cases applying the laws set out above, see our case law page.