Being excluded (also called expelled or suspended) from school means that you have seriously broken the rules and given the school no option but to remove you. 

Only the head teacher can exclude you from school and they have two choices:

Fixed-period exclusion (suspended)

  • is usually for a short period of time and includes lunchtime
  • you must return to school after the exclusion period is over
  • if you are excluded for more than a day, your teachers will still set and mark your work
  • by law, you can be excluded for up to 45 school days in any school year

Permanent exclusion (expelled)

  • means you can’t return to the school unless re-instated
  • means your council has to provide other suitable education if you are expelled (this might be in another school, in the local Pupil Referral Unit, or home or individual tuition).

If you are permanently excluded from any school, the Local Education Authority (LEA) is responsible for ensuring that suitable full-time education is provided for you while you are still of compulsory school age.

Help and advice

You can get free legal advice and information on children’s schooling and education rights from the Coram Children’s Legal Centre on 08088 020 008 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm or visit

More information can also be found on