As described in the section about EHC plans, an EHC plan is a legal document, and the LA has a duty under the law to ensure that the special educational provision set out in the EHC plan is provided.

If you believe that your child has been excluded as a result of their special educational needs not being met, you may need to consider one or more of the following:

  1. Has the provision set out in Section F of the EHC plan been arranged? If not, you should make a complaint to the LA about their failure to implement the EHC plan – you can find more information, and a model letter to use, here.
  2. Is the provision in the EHC plan the right kind of provision, and/or is there an adequate amount of support? If not, write to the LA asking for an early Annual Review. At the Annual Review you can request that changes are made to add more support, or make the description of the support required more specific. This is particularly urgent if your child has been permanently excluded as you will need to choose a new school to name in the EHC plan.
  3. If you feel that the EHC plan does not accurately reflect your child’s needs or the provision they require, and that new information is required in order to work this out, you may wish to ask for a re-assessment.
  4. Read the relevant sections of the statutory guidance ‘Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England’. In particular, if your child has been given a fixed-term exclusion, check paragraph 25, which consider the steps a school should take to support your child. If your child has been given a permanent exclusion, check paragraphs 75 and 76, which sets out the matters of which you must be notified by the governing body.
  5. If your child has been permanently excluded, consider whether you want to use your right to have a SEN expert present at the independent review panel (see the section on permanent exclusions for more information).
  6. If your child has been excluded for more than 5 days, they are entitled to alternative education. You should ensure this education is provided – see below for more details.
  7. You should also note that during the first 5 days of any exclusion a parent must ensure that the child is not present in a public place during school hours without reasonable justification. Parents can be given a fixed penalty notice of £50 if they fail to do this.


How can I ensure alternative education is provided?

For a fixed-term exclusion of more than five school days, or a permanent exclusion, the pupil must be provided with suitable alternative education.

The duty to provide ‘suitable’ education means that there is a duty to make provision which will meet your child’s special educational needs.

For a fixed-term exclusion, the governing body of the school is obliged to provided alternative education. Your local authority (“LA”) has a continuing duty (under section 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014) to ensure the provision set out in the EHC plan is provided, even while the pupil is excluded. This means if the school cannot make alternative provision which delivers the support set out in the EHC plan, the LA must do so.

For a permanent exclusion, it is the LA who must provide the alternative education. You should write to the Director of Children’s Services at your LA as soon as you learn that your child has been permanently excluded, telling them that you expect full time provision to be made. You should be able to find the Director’s details on your LA website.

In your letter or email, you should set out:

  • the date by which the LA will have a duty to provide full-time education for your child (i.e. from the sixth school day after the exclusion)
  • your child’s age
  • details of your child’s special educational needs and of the provision which will be required in order for the alternative education provision to be ‘suitable’
  • attach a copy of your child’s EHC plan, and ask for details of how the LA intends to ensure that the special educational provision is received.

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

As above, the LA has a continuing duty to ensure that the provision in the EHC plan is received. This duty applies even though your child is excluded from school.


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