Suspending or excluding a pupil with SEND: requirements and guidance

Understand the steps you need to take before suspending or excluding a pupil with SEND, especially if they have an education, health and care (EHC) plan, and learn about how your statutory duties may affect your decision.

Last reviewed on 13 September 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 5505
  1. Take your statutory duties into account
  2. Provide support before considering suspension or exclusion
  3. Use ‘off-site direction’ or a 'managed move' as an alternative to suspension or exclusion
  4. Provide full-time education for suspended or excluded pupils 

Take your statutory duties into account

You need to consider your statutory duties in relation to pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) when considering a suspension or exclusion. This includes having regard to the:

It's unlawful to suspend or exclude a pupil if it's because: 

  1. Your school feels it's not able to cater for their additional needs or disability
  2. The pupil's behaviour that led to the suspension or exclusion is a consequence of their additional needs or disability

This is the case unless you can show that the suspension or exclusion is a 'proportionate' means of achieving a legitimate aim. It's unlikely it will be considered 'proportionate' if