Permanent exclusions from school

Permanent exclusion from school is a very serious matter. Only a school’s headteacher - or named deputy if the headteacher is out of school - can permanently exclude a pupil. Headteachers may decide to permanently exclude a pupil only when they are sure that:

  • the pupil has seriously breached the school’s discipline policy
  • if the pupil remains in school, it would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school.

Further information for parents and carers

Children at risk of permanent exclusion

In the event that your child is deemed to be at risk of permanent exclusion, the school should refer your child to the Education Welfare Service. An education welfare officer will then contact you and will work with the school and yourself to try to prevent your child from being permanently excluded.
The school can draw up a pastoral support programme to outline ways of helping your child. This plan will be agreed with you and may set targets for the pupil, parent/carers, school and other support groups.

First incident

Pupils will not normally be excluded for a first incident. Permanent exclusion should not normally be used for a first serious incident unless the headteacher feels that they must take action immediately to protect the pupils and staff in the school. Even then they must take time to consider the matter carefully and use permanent exclusion as a last resort.

Emotional and behavioural difficulties or learning difficulties

If your child has emotional and behavioural difficulties or a learning difficulty which affects behaviour in school, the school can ask the Local Authority (LA) to review the statement if your child is at risk of permanent exclusion. You would be invited to the review meeting. At the review meeting other ways of dealing with your child's behaviour can be discussed to try to avoid permanent exclusion.

Statement for special educational needs

If your child has a statement for special educational needs, the school may present evidence about your child's educational ability, behaviour and social background as well as the facts surrounding the incident which led to the permanent exclusion. The LA will give its view and say whether it feels that permanent exclusion is appropriate or not. You will receive copies of this information in advance of the hearing.


Once the headteacher has decided to permanently exclude your child they should contact you immediately to explain their decision. They should telephone you if possible on the day and the exclusion would normally begin the following day.

The headteacher should then write a letter to you within one school day that gives:

  • the reason for your child's permanent exclusion
  • the steps taken to avoid permanent exclusion
  • the date that the permanent exclusion begins
  • arrangements for your child to have school work to do at home
  • your right to see a copy of your child's school record
  • your right to give your views on your child's permanent exclusion at a meeting with school governors on the discipline committee
  • a final date for you to send any written statements to the discipline committee before the meeting
  • the phone number of someone in the LA who can advise you and the phone number of the National Advisory Centre for Education.


If you disagree with your child's permanent exclusion, you can put your views in writing and in person to school governors at a meeting of their discipline committee. The clerk to the discipline committee will write to give you the date and time of the meeting.

Discipline committee

The discipline committee is made up of three to five of the school's governors. They follow guidance from the government and the LA to decide whether exclusion is being carried out correctly in the school.
At the discipline committee meeting, the governors will consider the views of the school, you and your child and the LA. The governors can decide to uphold your child's permanent exclusion or overturn the exclusion and allow your child to return to the same school.

Exclusion upheld

If the discipline committee upholds the exclusion, Nottinghamshire Learning Centre will continue to provide education for your child until another placement has been arranged. The Local Education Officer and your Connexions Personal Advisor will support you through this process.

Review a discipline committee decision

In the event that governors uphold the permanent exclusion, you can review the decision to an Independent Review Panel. Further information for parents and carers can be found in the Review of an Exclusion Decision:

Child’s education before discipline committee meeting

For days 1-5 inclusive, the school will set work to be done at home. During this time you have a duty to ensure that your child is not present in a public place during school hours. You are liable to a fine if your child is found in a public place, with or without a parent, without good reason.
From day 6 the Local Authority (LA) will provide between 21 and 25 hours of education (depending on the age of your child) through the Nottinghamshire Learning Centre.

Travel to a new school

If it is the school designated by the local authority and the distance is greater than the permitted walking distance for your child’s age, the local authority will pay for transport, usually a bus pass. If the school is your preferred school, you may be responsible for getting your child to and from the school.

Public place within first 5 days of exclusion

You must ensure that your child is not present in a public place during school hours without reasonable justification. This applies whether or not the child is with you.

Nominated school

Once you have nominated a school, if your child is of secondary school age then the application for another school place will be discussed at the area admissions panel (AAP). The panel will discuss your child’s individual needs and also take into consideration your application.

If your child is of primary school age then your application will be considered by the Local Education Officer/nominated school.

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