Suspending a pupil: procedures and guidance

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

Last reviewed on 14 February 2023
See updates
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 45206
  1. What is a suspension? 
  2. Informal or 'unofficial' suspensions are unlawful
  3. What the headteacher must consider before suspending a pupil
  4. Pupils who require special consideration
  5. How to report and record suspensions
  6. Arranging provision for suspended pupils
  7. Headteachers can cancel suspensions 
  8. Governors have a responsibility to consider suspensions
  9. Reintegrating a pupil after suspension

This article is based on the following guidance from the DfE, both of which came 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.

Use the previous guidance for pupils suspended before 1st September 2022

The new guidance only applies to suspensions and exclusions which take place on or after this date. If you have ongoing cases, 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.

A pupil can be suspended for 1 or more fixed periods, up