Governors' suspensions and exclusions panels: purpose and membership

Learn when a suspensions or exclusions panel is required, the timelines for considering different types of suspension or exclusion, and who can make up the membership.

Last reviewed on 2 August 2023
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  1. Purpose and timelines
  2. Membership

This article is based on the Department for Education’s (DfE's) statutory guidance on suspension and permanent exclusion (September 2023), and advice from governance experts Vicky Redding and Keith Clover.

Purpose and timelines

When a pupil is suspended (previously known as a 'fixed-term exclusion') or permanently excluded, your governing board has a duty to consider parents’ representations.

Your governing board will usually delegate that responsibility to a committee which we'll refer to here as an 'exclusions panel'. It may have a different name, such as a disciplinary committee. 

Whether an exclusions panel is required and the power it has regarding the exclusion depends on the individual circumstances.

Where one is required, the selected governors should meet to review the headteacher’s decision. They have the power to do 1 of 2 things:

When you