Removing pupils from the classroom: requirements and guidance

The DfE has updated its guidance on removing pupils from the classroom. Get to grips with your responsibilities, the processes you need to follow, and other things you'll need to consider.

Last reviewed on 22 August 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 45255
  1. Set out how you will use removals in your behaviour policy
  2. Staff responsibilities in the removal process
  3. When can we remove a pupil?
  4. How should we remove a pupil?
  5. How long can we remove a pupil for?
  6. How do we reintroduce a pupil to the classroom?
  7. Use data to analyse whether removals are working for your school

This article is about removing pupils from the classroom to a isolation or removal location for a limited amount of time where they can still receive educational provision. This is sometimes known as 'internal exclusion' or 'pupil isolation'. 

It's not the same as:

  • Asking a pupil to step outside the classroom for a conversation or a quick word with a teacher
  • Separating a pupil for sensory or non-disciplinary reasons, as might be the case with some pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) 

Any school can use pupil removals, though it is more common in secondary schools. You should only use removal if you have a suitable removal location – if you don't, consider alternative behaviour management techniques. 

For an overview of the DfE’s updated guidance on behaviour in schools, which comes into effect on 1 September 2022, read our article on effective behaviour management.