Permanent exclusion from primary school

A permanent exclusion (expelled) means that your child will not be able to return to his or her school unless reinstated by the school’s governing board

Who can exclude a pupil?

Only a headteacher (or acting headteacher in the headteacher’s absence) can exclude a pupil and this must be on disciplinary grounds based on a serious breach of school’s behaviour policy. All schools must have a published behaviour policy on the school website setting out the school rules.

Headteacher's duty to notify a parent

Initially you may be told via telephone or in person followed by a letter which should be sent to you without delay. The letter should include the following information:

  • confirmation that the exclusion is permanent
  • a clear explanation of the reasons why your child has been excluded
  • for the first five days of the exclusion, if your child is of compulsory school age, you are responsible and have a duty to make sure that your child is not found in a public place during school hours, without a good reason otherwise you may receive a fixed penalty notice (fine) or be prosecuted. The headteacher should notify you of the days on which this duty applies and may do this via email, text message, giving you notice in person or sending the information home with your child. Although your child is not allowed in school, the headteacher should take reasonable steps to set and mark work for your child during this period (If you do not receive any work you should contact the school directly and ask for some)
  • that notice of your child’s permanent exclusion has been forwarded to the Local Authority and that the Local Authority will be responsible for providing suitable full-time education for your child from the sixth school day (Local Authority contact details should also be included)
  • your legal right to attend a meeting of the governing board’s disciplinary committee (who will consider the exclusion), how you can make representations, your right to be represented at this meeting (at your own expense) and the right for you to bring a friend

If your child attends a maintained school, you can also ask to see a copy of your child’s educational record.  In the case of academies please read further information on the ICO website.

What do I do if I do not agree with the decision to exclude?

You may put your views forward by attending the governing board’s disciplinary committee meeting which is required to meet within fifteen school days of receiving notice of your child’s permanent exclusion. You should inform the school if you are going to attend this meeting. The governors of the school will have a disciplinary committee of at least three members. (Academies In some circumstances, may have less people on this committee).

Where a permanent exclusion would result in your child missing a public examination(s) or National Curriculum Test(s), the governing board must, as far as is reasonably practicable, consider and decide on the permanent exclusion before the date of the examination or test. If it is not practical for sufficient governors to consider the reinstatement before the examination or test, the chair of governors, in the case of a maintained school, may consider the permanent exclusion alone and decide whether or not to reinstate your child. In the case of an academy your child’s reinstatement may be considered by a smaller sub-committee if the trust’s articles of association allow them to do so.

There is no automatic right for a permanently excluded pupil to take a public examination or national curriculum test on the school’s premises. The governing board should consider whether it would be appropriate to exercise its discretion to allow the pupil onto the premises for the sole purpose of taking the examination or test or whether this could be facilitated in another way.

Who is invited to the disciplinary meeting and allowed to make representations or share information?

Parents or carers should be invited (and, where you request it), a representative or friend, the child's social worker (if they have one), the Virtual School headteacher (if Looked-After child), the headteacher of excluding school and a representative of the Local Authority (maintained schools only). You may also bring your child (taking into account their age and understanding). If your child attends an academy you can request a Local Authority representative to attend the meeting as an observer only, unless the governing board agrees for the Local Authority representative to make representations.

What powers does the disciplinary committee have?

The committee can decide either to reinstate your child or not to reinstate your child and uphold the permanent exclusion. The governing board should note the outcome of its consideration on your child’s educational record, and copies of the relevant papers should be kept with the educational record.

How will I learn of the disciplinary committee's decision?

You will be sent a letter. The reasons for its decision should be set out clearly to enable all parties to understand why the decision was made. You should be informed of your right to request a review of the decision by an Independent Review Panel (IRP) and your right to request a Special Educational Needs (SEN) expert to attend the meeting at no extra cost to yourself (if you request one). This is arranged by the Academy Trust or Local Authority depending on who is arranging the Independent Review Panel hearing.

If your child has special educational needs, you may receive support from Wirral SEND Partnership on 0151 522 7990.

What if I disagree with the disciplinary committee's decision?

If the committee decides not to reinstate your child, you have the right to request that the disciplinary committee’s decision is reviewed by an Independent Review Panel.

How do I contact the Independent Review Panel?

Usually you can contact the clerk to the Independent Review Panel at Wallasey Town Hall by emailing or telephone 0151 691 8220 to request an appeal form. Alternatively, you can apply online.

Academy trusts may decide to arrange (at their own expense) an Independent Review Panel. If this is the case, you would normally be given full details of how to apply for an Independent Review once you have received the letter from the clerk to the governing board informing you of its decision not to reinstate your child).

You have 15 school days to appeal from the date you receive this letter.

What powers does the Independent Review Panel have?

The panel can decide to either:

  • uphold the exclusion or
  • recommend that the governing board reconsiders reinstatement; or
  • quash the decision and direct that the governing board reconsiders reinstatement

If the Independent Review Panel has quashed and directed the governing board to reconsider reinstatement, the governing board must either reinstate your child within 10 school days or accept a significant financial adjustment to the school’s budget.

Who is responsible for my child's education while the Independent Review Process is going on?

The Local Authority will be responsible for making arrangements for your child’s education.

If a permanent exclusion is confirmed, what will happen to my child's education?

The Local Authority will contact you to give you details of where your child will continue their education. This will usually be another local mainstream school and you are responsible for making sure your child attends this provision.

For further advice and information please contact:

Behaviour and Exclusions Coordinator
PO Box 290
Brighton Street
CH27 9FQ

Telephone: 0151 666 4388 (direct line)