QuickRead: Suspensions and exclusions

Read a short summary of the rules around suspension and exclusion, including the governing board's responsibilities.

Last reviewed on 7 September 2022
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School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 5929
  1. Statutory guidance on suspensions and exclusions
  2. Authorising and recording suspensions and exclusions
  3. Deciding whether to exclude a pupil
  4. Notifying relevant parties of a suspension or exclusion
  5. The governing board’s responsibilities in relation to suspension and exclusion

Statutory guidance on suspensions and exclusions

All maintained schools, academies, alternative provision academies, and pupil referral units (PRUs) must have regard to statutory guidance on suspension and exclusion from the Department for Education (DfE).

The requirements apply to all pupils, including those above and below compulsory school age.

Authorising and recording suspensions and exclusions

Pupils can be excluded permanently, or suspended for 1 or more fixed periods up to a maximum of 45 days per academic year. Only the headteacher or acting headteacher of a school can authorise suspensions and exclusions.

All suspensions, however short in duration, must be formally recorded. 

Your school should also record, monitor and analyse removal (sometimes known as 'internal exclusions’) data. This is where a pupil is removed from class for a limited time at the instruction of a member of staff.

A pupil should only be permanently excluded when they've breached the school’s behaviour policy seriously