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Exclusions from school - advice and guidance for adoptive parents

My child has been excluded from school - what does this mean?

All schools have a behaviour policy which sets out how their pupils are expected to behave. Any child who does not follow the school rules may be excluded for a number of days. This is called a fixed period exclusion.

Schools should use exclusions as the last resort.

If your child is excluded, you should receive a letter from the Head Teacher telling you the reasons for the exclusion and how many days the exclusion will last.

Fixed period exclusions

The school will let you know how your child's education will continue during the period of exclusion.

During the first five days of exclusion, the school should set work for them to complete and arrange for it to be marked. Parents/carers should make sure that work sent home is completed and returned to school.

When a child is given a fixed period exclusion of six days or longer, the school must arrange for the child's education to be provided at an alternative setting.

This is from and including the sixth school day. The school should contact you about these arrangements.

During the first five days of a fixed period exclusion, the excluded pupil must not be in a public place during normal school hours without reasonable justification. This applies whether or not the child is in the company of an adult.

The Head Teacher should arrange a meeting with you during or following any fixed period exclusion.

This will give you the opportunity to discuss the incident that led to the exclusion. It will also be an opportunity to discuss any strategies to prevent these behaviours happening again in the future.

What can I do to support my child?

  • Keep the letter about the exclusion. It will contain helpful information including the reason for the exclusion and the arrangements for your child to return to school.
  • Listen carefully to your child's version of the events that led to the exclusion. Tell them that you will also be speaking to the school and will listen to them as well. Try to keep an open mind.
  • Contact the school as soon as possible so that your child can see that you are working with the teachers and staff to resolve the situation. Your child will feel more secure if they see that adults are in control of a difficult situation.
  • Contact the school immediately if you have any questions or queries about the exclusion.
  • If your child has had more than one exclusion you should contact the school to discuss any individual support that your child is receiving and to consider whether any further strategies could be tried.

Permanent exclusions

For very serious or repeated breaches of the school's behaviour policy a child may be excluded permanently.

If this happens, the governors of the school will have to hold a hearing to review the Head Teacher's decision. You will be able to attend the hearing, make a statement and ask questions.

The governors will decide to either:

  1. uphold the decision to exclude or
  2. overturn it and reinstate the child

The school should set work for your child for the first five days after a permanent exclusion.

South Tyneside Council becomes responsible after that and will get in touch to arrange next steps.

More information and advice

For more information and advice about school exclusions, please contact South Tyneside Virtual School on 0191 427 3490.

You can also contact the Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) on 0300 0115 142 or by email at


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