Pupil Exclusion and Suspension from School

Pupil Exclusion and Suspension from School

The Exclusion Team offer support and advice to Schools and Parents on exclusions and alternatives to exclusion. The document Local Authority Officer Support and Access to Education for Children and Young People Excluded from School sets out the framework for work in this area and can be accessed here

For advice and guidance on all pupil exclusion matters please contact the Exclusions Team at the email address or telephone numbers below:

Samantha Griffiths   Exclusions Officer              01274 435239

Paul Jennings          Exclusions Officer               01274 432446

email: exclusionsteam@bradford.gov.uk

Please note - we are a small team and as a result, there may, at times, be a delay in responding to quiries. Our aim is to respond within two business days

September 2023 - New Updated Exclusion and Suspension Statutory Guidance comes into Force

The DfE has released new guidance for Suspension and Permanent Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England, including pupil movement Guidance for maintained schools, academies, and pupil referral units in England.

This will come into force from 1st September 2022, the regulations as amended, and this guidance apply to exclusions that occur on or after 1 September 2022. The previous guidance (2017) applies to exclusions that occurred before this date.

The new guidance has been updated to be a companion piece to the Behaviour in Schools: Advice for headteachers and school staff (Sept 2022), which provides advice to headteachers, trust leaders and school staff on implementing a behaviour policy which creates a school culture with high expectations of behaviour. Therefore, the suspension and exclusion guidance should only be necessary as a last resort when strategies, practices and interventions set out within the Behaviour in Schools guidance have not been successful in improving a pupil’s behaviour or the use of more significant interventions or sanctions are required.

For the changes in brief click hereAll school staff, governors and those working with children and young people should read both documents in full. 

School Suspension and Exclusion.

Decisions to exclude pupils from school are always as a last resort and made by the headteacher. The decision to exclude should be lawful, reasonable, fair and proportionate in dealing with the disciplinary breach, taking into account any mitigating considerations, as set out in the DfE exclusions and suspension guidance (2022). 

Parents and headteachers can also seek advice from:  

If your child has special educational needs or disability (SEND) you may wish to seek advice from:

Support for Governing Boards

The National Governance Association - Exclusions: A guide for governing boards can be accessed at: https://www.nga.org.uk/getmedia/7363021a-a7ad-488d-bc31-ff5aab54ba3c/Exclusions-guidance-final-2019.pdf

Statutory Guidance Behaviour and discipline in schools: guide for governing bodies from the DfE can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/behaviour-and-discipline-in-schools-guidance-for-governing-bodies

The Exclusions Team have prepared a video for governors to give an overview of their duties connected to permanent exclusions and fixed period suspension from school. The video is currently being updated and will go live in due course. To access any training please see 'Governor Training' information below or email exclusionsteam@bradford.gov.uk. 

Governing boards should already be challenging and evaluating what their school’s data is telling them about their school or academy trust. Boards should carefully consider the level of pupil moves and the characteristics of pupils moving on any permanent exclusions to ensure the sanction is only used when necessary as a last resort. Governing boards should review suspensions and permanent exclusions, those taken off roll and those on roll but attending education off-site. It is important to consider both the cost implications of directing children to be educated off-site in AP and whether there are any patterns to the reasons or timing of moves. For example, if high numbers of children with SEND are moving, the school, academy or trust may wish to consider reviewing its SEN supportFurther information can be found at: Understanding your data: a guide for school governors and academy trustees - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Governors can also seek advice from The School Governor Service – school.governor@bradford.gov.uk or call Julie Ioanna on 07582 109275

Support for Schools

Additional support to schools for pupils at risk of exclusion can be made to the Social Communication, Interaction and Learning Team https://bso.bradford.gov.uk/content/scil-team,

Educational Psychology Team https://bso.bradford.gov.uk/schools/CMSPage.aspx?mid=166, and/or holding a multi-agency meeting in school to review unmet need holistically with the family.

Secondary schools can also seek support and advice from their behaviour and attendance collaborative (BAC) https://bso.bradford.gov.uk/content/behaviour-and-attendance-collaboratives.

Behind the Blade Educational Knife Crime Prevention Programme. The programme is aimed at young people aged 10 to 17 who are at risk of, or involved in, knife related behaviour to reduce their risk and divert from offending behaviours.

Behaviour in schools: advice for headteachers and school staff

Types of School Suspensions and Exclusion


These are short-term exclusions and pupils must be given a date for return to school. A return date should be given to parents in the letter informing them of the exclusion.

Lunch Time Suspensions

Pupils whose behaviour is disruptive at lunchtime and are excluded for the lunchtime session count as a fixed period exclusion of ½ day. A return date should be given to parents in the letter informing them of the lunchtime suspension period.

Permanent Exclusions

Permanent exclusion is the most serious sanction a school can give if a child does something that is against the school’s behaviour policy and is used as a last resort. It means that the pupil is no longer allowed to attend the school unless reinstated by the Governing Board.

The head teacher’s duty to inform parties about a suspension or exclusion:

Informing Parents 

Whenever a headteacher suspends or excludes a pupil they must, without delay, notify parents of the period of the suspension or permanent exclusion and the reason(s) for it. They must also, without delay, after their decision, provide parents with the following information in writing:
• the reason(s) for the suspension or permanent exclusion;
• the period of a suspension or, for a permanent exclusion, the fact that it is permanent;
• parents’ right to make representations about the exclusion to the governing board (in line with the requirements set out in paragraphs 95 to 105) and how the pupil may be involved in this;
• how any representations should be made; and
• where there is a legal requirement for the governing board to consider the suspension or exclusion, that parents or a pupil if they are 18 years old have a right to attend a meeting, to be represented at that meeting (at their own expense) and to bring a friend.


Letter models, forms and guidance are available on the next tab or at: https://bso.bradford.gov.uk/content/exclusions/letter-templates-forms-and-guidance 

Informing the governing board:

The headteacher must, without delay, notify the governing board of:
• any permanent exclusion (including where a suspension is followed by a decision to permanently exclude the pupil);

• any suspension or permanent exclusion which would result in the pupil being suspended or permanently excluded for a total of more than five school days (or more than ten lunchtimes) in a term; and

• any suspension or permanent exclusion which would result in the pupil missing a public examination or national curriculum test.

Informing the local authority:

The local authority must be informed without delay of all school suspensions and exclusions regardless of the length. Other than for permanent exclusions and suspensions made which would result in a pupil missing a national curriculum test or public examination, headteachers notify the local authority via inputting the exclusion on their data management system, which is then pulled through to the local authority systems which are monitored.

For a permanent exclusion, if the pupil lives outside the local authority area in which the school is located, the headteacher must also notify the pupil’s ‘home authority’ of the permanent exclusion and the reason(s) for it without delay. If this is the case a list of contacts in authorities bordering Bradford can be accessed here

The headteacher must also inform the governing board once per term of any other suspensions of which they have not previously been notified.

For notifications required to be made via forms to the local authority all letters, forms and guidance are available on the next tab or at: https://bso.bradford.gov.uk/content/exclusions/letter-templates-forms-and-guidance 

Informing Social Workers and the Virtual School for Looked After Children:

Head teahcers now, without delay, have to notify the social worker and/or Virtual School of any suspension or exclusion where this is applicable. Model letters have been updated to include them via being cc'd a copy of the letter. Schools will need to ensure that they have a process in place to ensure this notification happens.

For a child who is looked after please email a copy of the suspension or exclusion notification letter school sends to the Parent/Carer and social worker to the headteacher of the virtual school via the virtualschoolenquiries@bradford.gov.uk inbox using the subject heading ‘suspension’ or ‘exclusion’, without delay. Please also use this inbox for further correspondence, such as the invite to any Governor meeting and a copy of the decision letter on the matter of the reinstatement consideration.

For the majority of children who have a social worker, this is due to known safeguarding risks at home or in the community: over half are in need due to abuse or neglect. For children with a social worker, education is an important protective factor, providing a safe space for children to access support, be visible to professionals and realise their potential. When children are not in school, they miss the protection and opportunities it can provide, and become more vulnerable to harm. However, headteachers should balance this important reality with the need to ensure calm and safe environments for all pupils and staff, so should devise strategies that take both of these aspects into account. Advice for this group, including those previously 'looked after', where they are at risk of suspension or exclusion can be found here.

Cancelling exclusions

For exclusions after the 1st September 2022  the headteacher may cancel an exclusion that has already begun (previous to this date called withdrawing), but this should only be done where it has not yet been reviewed by the governing board. Where an exclusion is cancelled, then:

• Parents, the governing board, and the LA should be notified without delay and, if relevant, the social worker and Virtual School Headteacher;

• Parents should be offered the opportunity to meet with the headteacher to discuss the circumstances that led to the exclusion being cancelled;

• Schools should report to the governing board once per term on the number of exclusions which have been cancelled. This should include the circumstances and reasons for the cancellation enabling governing boards to have appropriate oversight and;

• The pupil should be allowed back into school.

In these cases schools are required to send a copy of the withdrawn letter sent to parent to the Exclusion Team and they MUST ensure their Information Management Team is made aware of this to ensure their system is updated with the cancelled exclusion decision. Where there has been a permanent exclusion decision cancelled and the criteria in  A summary of the governors boards duty to review the head teachers decision to exclude - are met then a governor meeting MUST still be convened.  

Day 6 Provision - Children's Services Guidance

The duty to provide 6th day provision remains with the school following 5 days of suspension, therefore if a school suspends a pupil for 7 days, they must provide a suitable alternative provision for the 6th and7th day. The duty for the LA to provide alternative provision comes in to effect on the 6th day following the date of the permanent exclusion.

Pupils with disabilities and Special Educational Needs (SEN) including those with Education, Health and Care plans (EHC plans) 

The Equality Act 2010 requires schools to make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils. This duty can, in principle, apply both to the suspensions and permanent exclusions process and to the disciplinary sanctions imposed. Under the Children and Families Act 2014, governing boards of relevant settings must use their ‘best endeavours’ to ensure the appropriate special educational provision is made for pupils with SEN, which will include any support in relation to behaviour management that they need because of their SEN.

Schools should engage proactively with parents in supporting the behaviour of pupils with additional needs. Where a school has concerns about the behaviour, or risk of suspension and permanent exclusion, of a pupil with SEN, a disability or an EHC plan it should, in partnership with others (including where relevant, the local authority), consider what additional support or alternative placement may be required. This should involve assessing the suitability of provision for a pupil’s SEN or disability.

Where a pupil has an EHC plan, schools should contact the local authority about any behavioural concerns at an early stage and consider requesting an early annual review prior to making the decision to suspend or permanently exclude.

For those with SEN but without an EHC plan, the school should review, with external specialists as appropriate, whether the current support arrangements are appropriate and what changes may be required. This may provide a point for schools to request an EHC assessment or a review of the pupil’s current package of support.

Where a pupil is 'looked after', schools should contact the Headteacher for the Virtual School, Jonathan Cooper, to discuss concerns and update their support plan as required. 

Guidance on providing exclusion data

As well as reporting on day one of a permanent exclusion to the Exclusion Team, the school is required to update their Information Management system without delay with any exclusions and suspensions made.

Schools should report to the governing board once per term on the number of exclusions which have been cancelled.

Within 14 days of a request, a governing board must provide to the Secretary of State and (in the case of maintained schools and PRUs) the local authority, certain information about any pupils suspended or permanently excluded within the last 12 months.

The Department for Education collects data on suspensions and permanent exclusions from all state-funded schools via the termly school census. Schools must provide information via the school census on pupils subject to any type of suspension or permanent exclusion in the previous two terms. Up to three reasons can be recorded for each suspension or permanent exclusion (where applicable).

Training for Governors:


Suspensions and Exclusions - The Governor Role 

Description of training

The role of Governors in overseeing suspension and exclusions from school is not one many governors have experience of when they offer their support to school as a Governor. This training will look at  suspension and permanent legislation and guidance around this, connected to schools’ policies and the impact on students, families and schools. There will be a particular emphasis on the duties of the Governors, with training expanding on the  governor role at pupil disciplinary committee (PDC) meetings, where governors have a duty to consider the reinstatement of a pupil suspended or permanently excluded. The training supports governors to ensure this difficult process is undertaken as per their duties and in supporting Governors to make decisions that are lawful, reasonable, fair and proportionate at the PDC with increased confidence.

Suitable for

School Governing bodies and trust boards. It may also be suitable for senior leaders in school. 


60 minutes either face to face or on Teams. 


£150 for up to 20 participants   

Please contact the exclusionsteam@bradford.gov.uk for details and to book


Page owned by Karen Roper, last updated on 05/09/2023. This page has been viewed 35,712 times.