Suspending or excluding a pupil

Understand the statutory framework surrounding exclusions and what you might be asked to do as part of the exclusions process. Download our exclusions process flowchart to get up to speed quickly.

Last reviewed on 5 October 2022
See updates
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 3467
Contents
  1. Suspensions and exclusions process: flowchart
  2. Suspensions and permanent exclusions 
  3. Reasons a suspension or exclusion may be unlawful
  4. Exclusions which require special consideration
  5. Governors' responsibilities

New statutory guidance came into force on 1st September 2022.

Use the previous guidance for pupils suspended or excluded before 1st September 2022

The new guidance only applies to suspensions and exclusions which take place on or after this date. If you have ongoing cases, make sure you follow the policy that was in place when the suspension or exclusion process started. If you don't have an exclusions policy, contact the DfE to get a copy of the archived guidance. 

Suspensions and exclusions process: flowchart

Suspensions and exclusions are heavily regulated. All of the information in this article can be found in the statutory guidance on suspension and exclusion, published by the Department for Education (DfE). 

To get started, take a look at our flowchart setting out the process schools must follow when suspending or permanently excluding a pupil.

Only headteachers or acting headteachers can decide to suspend or