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.

If your child has been excluded because their special educational needs are not being met, there are steps you can take.

  1. Ask the school to provide SEN Support for your child if they aren’t already.
  2. If your child already gets SEN Support, ask for an urgent review of this support. If they have not been getting the support agreed, ask to see their educational record.
  3. Check the school’s SEN information report (this is about SEN provision the school can provide – it should be on the school’s website). Is there anything else the school does that could help your child?
  4. If the school could be doing more, complain to school that their duties under section 66 of the Children and Families Act 2014 have not been fulfilled – this is the duty to use their best endeavours to ensure that children with special needs receive provision to meet their needs.
  5. If your child needs more support to meet their SEN than the school can provide, you may wish to request an EHC needs assessment.
  6. You may want to consider whether a change of school is necessary.
  7. Check the for 2022 statutory guidance for exclusions happening from 1 September 2022 – 31 August 2023 or the 2023 statutory guidance for exclusions happening from 1 September 2023 onwards (depending on which is relevant). Has the school considered whether your child’s needs are being met or what the reason for the behaviour leading to the exclusion/suspension might be? Has the school got input from external professionals if appropriate?
  8. If your child has been permanently excluded, don’t forget your right to have a SEN expert present at the independent review panel.
  9. If your child has been excluded for more than 5 days, they are entitled to suitable, alternative education. Make sure this education is provided.
  10. Remember - during the first 5 days of any exclusion you must make sure your child is not in a public place during school hours without reasonable justification. Parents can be given a fixed penalty notice if they fail to do this. 

How can I make sure alternative education is provided?

Suspension for more than 5 school days

For a fixed-term exclusion or suspension of more than 5 school days your child must receive suitable alternative education.

  • The duty is to provide ‘suitable’ education – this means it must meet your child’s special educational needs.
  • The school has to provide this suitable, alternative education. However if your child has been excluded from a pupil referral unit, then this duty belongs to the local authority (LA) and it, not the unit, has to make sure your child gets this education.
  • You should ask for it to include SEN Support if your child does not already have this.

Permanent exclusion

If your child is of compulsory school age and has been permanently excluded, your LA  must provide suitable, alternative education.

You should write to the Director of Children’s Services at your LA as soon as you learn your child has been permanently excluded, telling them that you expect full time provision to be made. You can use our template letter as a template for this.

Keep a copy of your letter or email so you have a record of your contact with the LA.

If you haven’t been able to find the answer to your question on this page, you can book an appointment to speak with us.