Education Legal services for Families, in particular, Special Educational Needs & Disability
Education Lawyers


The right to an education is enshrined in law for everyone. The right to education in the United Kingdom is provided for in Schedule 1, First Protocol, Article 2 of the Human Rights Act 1998, which states: ‘No person shall be denied the right to education.”


If your child has been excluded, it means that they are not allowed to go to their school. This can either be for:

  1. A suspension – what used to be called a “fixed-term” exclusion – a set amount of days from half a day to a maximum of 45 days in one school year, or
  2. A permanent exclusion – meaning they are removed from the school roll (the official school register) and are not allowed to return (what used to be called ‘expelled’).

These are the only two types of lawful exclusions.

If your child has SEND and has been excluded either for a fixed-term or permanently then this can be a sign that their special educational needs are not being met and Education Lawyers can advise you on the best course of action to ensure this is rectified.

Education after Exclusion

A child can be suspended/fixed term exclusion for a maximum of 445 days in any one school year. Their school should set and mark work to be completed at home for the first five school days of any single suspension/fixed-term exclusion period. If the suspension exceeds five school days in length, their school MUST arrange suitable full-time alternative education from day six.

Permanent exclusion

If your child has been permanently excluded from their school, your local (education) authority must arrange full-time alternative education day six. If this does not happen, or the education isn’t suitable, you can make a complaint. We can help ensure your child is treated fairly and gets the education they are entitled to. If you need support, get in touch

Unlawful Exclusions

An unlawful exclusion is when your child is sent home during school hours, or prevented by the school from attending, without the school following the procedures required for a formal or official exclusion. It is not allowed – that is why it is referred to as being unlawful.

For example, it is classed as unlawful for the school to ask you to collect your child at lunch-time because it can’t manage their behaviour, and they don’t give you written explanation that this is a half-day exclusion. It is considered unlawful even if the parents agree to do this, because nothing formal is written down and no records have been kept. There is government guidance about exclusions that state-funded schools have to adhere to.

If you believe your child has been unlawfully excluded, we may be able to help.

 Get in touch with us and we can go over the details of your case, and advise on the best way to proceed.

To find out more about the rules around exclusions, visit our FAQs

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