Fixed Term and Permanent Exclusions

Excluding a child permanently or for a short period of time is not something to be taken lightly. Read guidance below on procedures for different types of exclusion.

Permanent Exclusion

Permanent exclusion is the most serious punishment a school can give if a child does something that is against the school's behaviour policy (the school rules). It means that the child is no longer allowed to attend the school and their name will be removed from the school roll.

There are guidelines about what should be taken into account before excluding a child. This section will help you understand a bit more about exclusions and the process that should be followed. 

  • Permanent exclusion should only be used as a last resort.
  • Only the head teacher has the power to exclude a child.
  • Other members of staff such as heads of year cannot exclude, though they may provide information to support the head's decision.
  • All exclusions must be for disciplinary reasons only.
  • All schools must have a behaviour policy setting out what the school rules are.

Schools do vary in what they will permanently exclude for. However permanent exclusion should only happen in response to a serious breach or persistent breaches of the school's behaviour policy and where allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school. In practice this means that there are two likely scenarios for a permanent exclusion:

  1. a child has had a history of persistent disruptive behaviour and the school feel they cannot do anymore.
  2. a child has committed a single serious one-off offence, even if they have never been in trouble before. That might be something like assaulting a pupil or member of staff or bringing a knife or drugs into school. However it is up to each school to define what counts as a serious offence.

Fixed period exclusion

Exclusion from school means that a pupil is not allowed in school for disciplinary reasons. Fixed period exclusion means that a pupil is not allowed in school for a specified number of days and is one of the sanctions a school can give if a child does something that is against the school's behaviour policy.

  • Most fixed period exclusions are for short periods of 5 days or less but they can be for longer.
  • An individual pupil may not be given more than 45 days fixed term exclusion in any one school year.
  • All decisions about exclusion must be made with reference to the new Department for Education (DfE) guidance, which came into effect in September 2017 and which outlines statutory responsibilities. This document from the DfE provides a guide to the legislation that governs the exclusion of pupils from maintained schools, pupil referral units (PRUs), academy schools (including free schools, studio schools and university technology colleges) and alternative provision academies (including alternative provision free schools) in England.

What to do after excluding a pupil


Once a decision has been taken to permanently exclude a pupil, the following documents must be sent to the Behaviour, Attendance and Children Missing Education (BACME) Service within 1 working day:

  • Copy of permanent exclusion letter
  • Fair Access Referral Form Risk Assessment
  • For Fixed Term Exclusion a copy of the exclusion letter and the Ex1 form must be sent to the BACME Service.

These documents must be sent to the following email address:


Last update: Friday 22nd of May 2020 01:23:11 PM