How long can a child be excluded from school?

There are two kinds of exclusion:

  • Fixed period exclusion (formerly referred to as 'being suspended'): a pupil is banned from school for a fixed number of days because they have breached the school's behaviour policy. Usually a fixed term exclusion is for 5 days or fewer. If a child is excluded during lunchtime this counts as a half day. When added together over a whole year, the total of fixed term  exclusions cannot exceed 45 days.
  • Permanent exclusion (formerly referred to as 'being expelled'): the headteacher has decided that a pupil should not continue at the school because of a serious breach of the school's behaviour policy, and allowing the pupil to remain in school would harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school.

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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