Challenging a fixed term exclusion

The first step you should take if you disagree with the decision to exclude the child is to formally ask the headteacher to reconsider and withdraw or shorten the fixed term exclusion.

If this is refused you can refer the matter to the governors. Usually a 3 person panel of governors is delegated the responsibility to deal with this on behalf of all the governors.

If the child you are raising has been excluded for up to 5 days in one term the governors must consider your views. They do not have a duty to arrange a meeting with you, although often they will do so if you ask. It is therefore important to put your views in writing. The governors are not able to order the headteacher to reinstate a child, and often the child will already have returned to school by the time of any meeting. As the exclusion has happened, it will not be deleted from the school record, but if the governors agree with you that it was not justified they may agree to add a note to the school record.

If the child has been excluded for between 5½ and 15 days in a term, the governors have to hold a meeting to consider the exclusion if the parent/carer requests it, and this meeting has to take place within 50 school days. The governors have the power to reinstate the child straight away, or on a specified date.

If the child has been excluded for more than 15 days in a term, the governors will automatically hold a meeting to consider the exclusion. This meeting must be within 15 school days. The governors have the power to reinstate the child either immediately or on a specified date.

If the child has been excluded and will as a result miss a public examination, the governors will automatically hold a meeting to consider the exclusion. This must be within 15 school days. The governors have the power to reinstate the child either immediately or on a specified date.


Further information

What happens if a child is excluded from school
ACE Education School exclusion
Coram Children's Legal Centre School exclusions
Statutory guidance for maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units on the exclusion of pupils

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