For most pupils, suspensions and permanent exclusions will not be necessary. If your child is finding it difficult to follow the school behaviour or relationship policy, your child’s school should work with you to find out why this is.

All children and young people have a right to receive an education where they are included and make progress. This includes those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who can be at greater risk of suspension or exclusion. If you have any concerns about the support your child might need, you should discuss these with the school and ask them about The Graduated Approach.

The difference between exclusion and suspension 

If your child is suspended, this means there will be a fixed number of school days when they cannot attend school. A suspension can also be for half a school day or for a certain period of the school day, for example lunchtime. Suspensions are also referred to as fixed-term or fixed-period exclusions. 

For serious breaking of the school rules, or persistent disruptive behaviour, your child may be permanently excluded which means they must leave their school on a permanent basis and receive their full-time education somewhere else. Some people also call this an expulsion. 

The decision to suspend or permanently exclude a child is very difficult for a head teacher to make. The GOV.UK guidance on school behaviour and exclusion will help you understand the school suspension and permanent exclusion process that all head teachers must follow and where you can receive support. 

If your child receives more than 1 suspension, your locality support team will be in touch to see how they can support you and your child. Parents or carers can also contact us for advice. 

If your child is permanently excluded 

It can be a very stressful and worrying time if your child is permanently excluded. Remember you don't have to deal with the situation on your own.  

We will be in contact with you if your child is permanently excluded to provide support and discuss options with you.  

These options could include: 

  • attending another school  
  • attending a learning centre (also known as a pupil referral unit) 
  • learning provision with support to attend another school

Provision for children and young people who can't access full-time education at school

A small number of children may need extra help to stay in, and enjoy learning at their mainstream school. There are specialist places and support for those who would benefit from spending time away from their school.

Depending on the needs of the child, such alternative provision can include:

  • mentoring
  • teaching
  • vocational training
  • group tuition
  • online teaching

Excluded from school guide

We've written an excluded from school guide to help you understand what happens if your child or young person is excluded from school. This is general guidance only. You can find more information from either the school or your Inclusion Lead. 

Contact your Inclusion Lead through your locality team