This guidance only applies to exclusions that occurred before 1 September 2012 and it does not reflect the current legal position. New legislation and statutory guidance apply to exclusions which occur from this date.

The previous guidance, published in 2008, is composed of six different parts and can be downloaded from the associated resources box on this page.

The exclusion guidance is structured as follows:


Part 1: Promoting positive behaviour and early intervention:

  • Introduction
  • Managing behaviour in schools
  • Alternatives to exclusion.

Part 2: Removing pupils from a school site and the decision to exclude:

  • Drug-related exclusions 
  • Factors to consider before making a decision to exclude
  • Standard of proof
  • When exclusion is not appropriate
  • Unofficial exclusions 
  • Removal of pupils from school in exceptional circumstances 
  • Removal of pupils on medical grounds 
  • Length of fixed period exclusions 
  • Lunchtime exclusion 
  • Procedures following a fixed period exclusion 
  • Reintegration interview
  • Penalty notice for excluded pupils 
  • Parenting contracts and orders 
  • Parental co-operation 
  • Procedures for review and appeal 
  • Procedures following permanent exclusion 
  • Exclusions from pupil referral units 
  • Definition of full-time education
  • Reintegration
  • Behaviour outside school 
  • Pupils with special educational needs (SEN) 
  • Disabled pupils 
  • Race relations 
  • Looked after children 
  • Role of the Secretary of State.

Part 3: Procedure for excluding a pupil: role of headteacher/teacher in charge:

  • Informing parents about the exclusion 
  • Informing the governing body/management committee and the local authority 
  • Marking attendance registers following exclusion.

Part 4: Responsibilities of the governing body/management committee:

  • The governing body/management committee 
  • Governing body’s/management committee’s role in reviewing exclusions  
  • Procedure at the governing body/management committee meeting  
  • Governing body’s/management committee’s decision 
  • After the meeting 
  • Pupil referral units.

Part 5: Independent appeal panels:

  • Notifying parents 
  • The timing of the hearing  
  • Combined appeals 
  • Composition of appeal panels 
  • Guidance on training for clerks and panel members  
  • Role of the clerk 
  • In advance of the hearing  
  • Conduct of the appeal hearing  
  • Evidence and witnesses 
  • Reaching a decision 
  • The decision 
  • Record of the proceedings of an appeal panel 
  • After the hearing 
  • Remedies after the appeal hearing.

Part 6: Police involvement and parallel criminal proceedings:

  • Introduction 
  • Head teacher’s/teacher in charge’s decision to exclude and consideration of the circumstances by the governing body/management committee 
  • Arrangements for appeal hearings in parallel with criminal proceedings.

Part 7: Arrangements for money to follow pupils who have been permanently excluded from school:

  • Introduction
  • Types of school covered by this part of the guidance
  • Mechanism for deducting and allocating money
  • Amount of funding attributed to the pupil
  • Date from which excluding school loses money
  • The relevant date
  • Reinstatement of excluded pupils
  • The need for prompt payments
  • Complete weeks
  • Exception
  • Pupil numbers for the next year’s funding
  • Related documents.

Part 8: Model Letters.

There are also exclusion guidance related documents and websites.