Suspension or permanent exclusion hearings: procedures

Certain exclusions require a panel to consider the headteacher's decision. Get an overview of the requirements and what role you play in the process.

Last reviewed on 26 June 2023
See updates
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 11604
  1. Understand the requirements for a hearing
  2. Know who can attend
  3. Hearings can now be held remotely
  4. The process of the hearing
  5. What to do if a suspension or permanent exclusion is overturned
  6. Parents/carers may request an independent review panel 

This article is based on the DfE's guidance on suspensions and permanent exclusions, effective from 1 September 2023 (read our summary of what's changed from the previous guidance). It applies to maintained schools, academies, alternative provision academies and pupil referral units.

Suspensions and exclusions arising before 1 September 2023

The new guidance only applies to new cases of suspensions and exclusions arising on or after 1 September 2023.
If you have ongoing cases, refer to the previous guidance and make sure you follow the policy that was in place when the suspension or exclusion process started. If you don't have an exclusions policy, contact the DfE to get a copy of the archived guidance.

Note: if the pupil is 18 or older, then any actions that involve parents/carers throughout the hearing should involve the pupil instead. 

The governing board has a duty to consider your decision as the headteacher to suspend or permanently exclude a pupil, in certain