Last reviewed on 10 September 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 5929

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

Statutory guidance on exclusions

Both maintained schools and academies must have regard to statutory guidance on exclusion from the Department for Education (DfE).

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

Authorising and recording exclusions

Pupils can be excluded permanently, or suspended for one 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 exclusions.

All exclusions, however short in duration, must be formally recorded. ‘Internal exclusion’, where pupils are removed from class but not the school site, is legal and does not count as a formal exclusion, so does not need to be recorded.

A pupil should only be excluded when they have breached the school’s behaviour policy seriously or persistently, and where allowing them to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in