An EHC plan is a legal document, and your LA must make sure that the special educational provision set out in the EHC plan (in section F) is provided.

The steps we explain on this page mainly relate to pupils at maintained schools, Academy schools (not 16-19 Academies or 16-19 free schools), alternative provision Academies, and pupil referral units. However some of these steps relate to all those with EHC plans, wherever they attend.

If your child attends a different setting to those listed above, please see our information on exclusion from those different settings as well as the relevant points below.

If your child has been excluded because their special educational needs are not being met, you can try these steps:

All those with EHC plans

1. Has the provision in Section F of the EHC plan been arranged? If not, complain to the LA about its failure to implement the EHC plan – you can find more information, and a model letter to use, online.

2. Is the provision in the EHC plan the right kind of provision and is there enough support? If not, write to the LA asking for an early Annual Review. During the Annual Review you can ask for changes to support, or make sure the description of the support is clear enough. If your child has been permanently excluded you will need to choose a new school to name in the EHC plan.

3. If the EHC plan doesn’t properly describe your child’s needs or the provision they require, and new information is needed to work this out, you could ask for a re-assessment.

4. If your child of compulsory school age has been permanently excluded, they are entitled to suitable, alternative education. Make sure this education is provided. You can check our information on this below.

Those at maintained schools, Academy schools and pupil referral units with EHC plans

5. Check the 2022 statutory guidance (for exclusions from 1 September 2022 to 31 August 2023) and the 2023 statutory guidance (for exclusions from 1 September 2023 onwards) for more information.

6. If your child has been permanently excluded, don’t forget your right to have a SEN expert present at the independent review panel.

7. If your child has been excluded for more than 5 days, they are entitled to suitable, alternative education. Make sure this education is provided – see below for more details.

8. 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 ensure 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 get 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 model 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.

The LA must make sure the provision in the EHC plan is received. This duty applies even though your child is excluded from school.

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.