Last reviewed on 2 February 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 2117

Be clear on when you can lawfully exclude a pupil and what you must consider before making a decision.

When can we exclude a pupil? 

You can only exclude a pupil on disciplinary grounds 

The behaviour incident will usually have happened inside school, but you can also exclude pupils for behaviour outside school (e.g. when in uniform, or when the behaviour may bring the school into disrepute), if it's in line with your school's behaviour policy. 

There's no set time limit on how long after an incident you can exclude a pupil.

You cannot exclude a pupil due to:

  • The actions of the pupil’s parents
  • The pupil having additional needs or a disability that the school feels unable to meet
  • Poor academic ability or attainment (though a pupil who repeatedly disobeys their teachers' academic instructions could be subject to exclusion)
  • The pupil failing to meet specific conditions before being reinstated, such as failing to attend a reintegration meeting

You must formally record all exclusions, even if they only happen for a short period