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AFC - Previously looked-after children
AfC Virtual School

Previously Looked-After Children

Support and advice for previously looked-after children's parents, guardians and schools

Fixed term and permanent exclusions

 If your child is in a school in the boroughs of Richmond, Kingston or RBWM, please contact the AfC Virtual school for advice and support if your child has been threatened with exclusion on 0208 831 6037.  

What is the difference between a fixed term exclusion and permanent exclusion?

Fixed term exclusion

If your child is given a fixed term exclusion, you should receive a letter from the head teacher giving you the reasons for the exclusion and telling you how many days the exclusion will last. During the first five days of exclusion, the school should set work for your child to complete and arrange for it to be marked. Parents/carers should make sure that work sent home is completed and returned to the school.

If 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, from and including the sixth school day. Your child’s school should contact you about these arrangements. You can appeal against an exclusion of six days or more to the governors of your child's school. If the exclusion is less than six days, the school governors may not overturn the decision but you can write a letter to the school outlining your reasons for appeal and this must be kept in your child's file by the school.

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 how to avert this situation occurring in the future.

A pupil may be excluded for one or more fixed periods, up to a maximum of 45 school days in a single academic year. It is unlawful to exclude a child for an unspecified length of time. 

Permanent exclusion

Permanent exclusion means that a child is taken off the school roll and not allowed to enrol again at that school. It can only happen if there is evidence that there has been a serious breach or persistent breaches of school policy and if allowing the child to stay in school would harm the education or welfare of pupils or staff. 

As with a fixed term exclusion, the child must not be in a public place for five days after being excluded.

From the sixth school day, the local authority must provide alternative full-time education.

If your child has been permanently excluded from school, you will be invited to a review meeting with the governors within 15 school days. If the exclusion is not overturned by the governors at this meeting, you can then approach the Independent Review Panel (IRP) or the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), which is specifically for parents of pupils who feel the exclusion was based on discrimination against their child's disability. Parents are given the opportunity to request an SEN expert to be present at an IRP regardless of whether or not their child has identified SEND and most parents surveyed by the DfE had an SEN expert present at the IRP.  If you do wish to appeal the exclusion, your child must not be removed from the school roll until the Independent Review Panel makes a decision. 

Grounds for appeal include discrimination against the child because of their special educational needs, sex, race, disability, religion, beliefs, sexual orientation or gender reassignment.Children may not be excluded because of their academic ability or attainment or because of actions by their parents, for example, if they have threatened a member of staff. 

If you're not notified of your child's exclusion in writing, including details of the duration of the exclusion, the reasons for it, and your right to appeal, their exclusion is unlawful and may be overturned.