Excluding a pupil: procedures and guidance

Be clear on the procedures for excluding a pupil, when you can lawfully do so, and who you must inform.

Last reviewed on 11 August 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 2117
  1. When can we exclude a pupil? 
  2. What the headteacher must consider before excluding a pupil
  3. Remember that off-rolling is unlawful
  4. Pupils who require special consideration
  5. How to report and record exclusions
  6. Arranging provision for excluded pupils
  7. Headteachers can cancel an exclusion
  8. Governors must consider all exclusions

This article is based on the following guidance from the DfE, both of which come into effect on 1 September 2022:

Both guidance documents apply to maintained schools, academies (including free schools), alternative provision (AP) academies (including AP free schools), and pupil referral units.

Note: we’re currently updating our suspensions and exclusion policy to be in line with the updated guidance – click ‘save for later’ on that article page to be alerted when it’s ready.

When can we exclude a pupil? 

You can only exclude a pupil on serious disciplinary grounds 

In response to a serious breach (or persistent breaches) of your behaviour policy, and Where allowing the pupil to remain in school would risk serious harm to the welfare of