The steps we explain on this page only relate to pupils at maintained schools, Academy schools (not 16-19 Academies or 16-19 free schools), alternative provision Academies, and pupil referral units. If your child attends a different setting, please see our information on exclusion from those different settings.

There are a number of things the school is legally required to do if your child is excluded for over 15 days. (The maximum number of days in a school year for which a child can be given fixed-term exclusions is 45.)

1. Notification by the Head

The Head must tell:

  • you as the parent (initially by phone or in person) why your child has been excluded/suspended and for how long. This must be done without delay
  • the local authority (LA) about the exclusion/suspension, again without delay
  • the Governors, and
  • if the pupil is a looked after child, the Head must tell the Virtual School Head and if the pupil has a social worker, the Head must tell the social worker about the exclusion/suspension – in both cases, without delay.

2. Written confirmation

Then the Head must write to you to confirm that your child has been excluded/suspended and why and also explain that you have right to say what you think about the exclusion (this is called making representations) and how to do this. This information may be sent to you by email, but only if you agree to it.

3. Representations

You should put your views and comments on the exclusion in writing.  These representations must be considered by governors (see our advice on preparing written representations).

4. Governor meeting

The Governors must meet within 15 days of receiving the notice of the exclusion. However, if the exclusion will mean your child will miss an external or National Curriculum exam they must take reasonable steps to meet before the exam.

You have the right to attend this meeting. You can also have someone to represent you at the meeting (such as an advisor from the local Information Advice and Support Service or a solicitor) and can bring a friend.

For exclusions taking place from 1 September 2023, you can ask for this meeting to be held remotely and you should be told how to ask for this. For exclusions taking place before 1 September 2023, there is no right to ask for a remote meeting, but you could still ask for it if you need it to be held remotely.

5. Education

School must take reasonable steps to set and mark work for the first five days of a period of exclusion/suspension.

The governing body (or, if a pupil is excluded/suspended from a pupil referral unit, the LA) must arrange suitable, full-time education if your child is of compulsory school age.

This provision must begin no later than the sixth day of the exclusion but they should try to start this provision as soon as possible. If the pupil is a looked after child, schools and local authorities should work together to arrange alternative provision from the first day following the exclusion.

All work provided should be something that can be done by your child outside of school. If remote education is being provided by school, you can check to see if government guidance is being followed.

You can find further advice on what to do if your child is excluded on our website.