Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
Permanent Exclusion Appeals

Contact our specialist education law solicitors today to see how we can help you.  Speak to one of our team on 01633 240743 or click the ‘Contact us’ button to send us an email and one of our lawyers will call you back at a time to suit you.

What can we do to help?

Our Education Law Solicitors understand the significant impact that a permanent exclusion can have on your child’s education and wellbeing. The decision to permanently exclude a student can have life changing effects on your child’s future and we are passionate in assisting parents and students through the process.

This page will cover the current statistics from the Office for National Statistics, what a permanent exclusion is and explain how our education law solicitors can help you.

Exclusion Statistics – 2019/20

The Office for National Statistics reports that there was over 5,000 permanent exclusions set down during the academic year 2019/20. There was a decrease in permanent exclusions compared to academic year 2018/19, however, the Office for National Statistics reasonably conclude that the decrease in permanent exclusions is likely to be directly attributable to the first national lockdown.

The data also reveals that the most common reason for permanent exclusion is on the ground of ‘persistent disruptive behaviour’; which account for 34% of all permanent exclusions.

It is disappointing that the statistics reconfirm that children with SEN are at a higher risk of permanent exclusion compared to students without SEN. The data reveals the following:

  • Exclusion rate for students without SEN = exclusion rate of 0.06
  • Exclusion rate for SEN pupils without an EHCP = exclusion rate of 0.20
  • Exclusion rate for SEN pupils with an EHCP = exclusion rate of 0.10

If a student has been excluded on the basis of their SEN, it is also possible to consider issuing a case for disability discrimination with the Tribunal. Our education lawyers can advise and assist you in making a claim with the Tribunal.

The data therefore confirms that SEN students with an EHCP are less likely to be excluded than those without an EHCP. Our education law solicitors can assist you in obtaining an EHCP.

Appealing a decision to permanent exclude a student

A permanent exclusion is the ultimate sanction that a Head Teacher may set down as a result of a student breaking the school’s own rules. Exclusions will have a significant impact on a pupil, so it should not be a decision that is made lightly.

A school will rely on their own behaviour policy in making the decision to permanent exclude a child, but there are various reasons that may result in a permanent exclusion such as physical altercations/fighting, drug related incidents, persistent disruptive behaviour, possession of a weapon, sexual misconduct and so on.

Whatever the reasons relied on, the Head Teacher of a maintained school or academy should write to explain to you exactly why your child has been excluded and explain that you are able to challenge the decision in the first instance via the Board of Governors/Disciplinary Committee.

There are three potential stages in dealing with a permanent exclusion made by a maintained school or academy which will include:

  • Board of Governors/Disciplinary Committee: representation can be made following which the governors will decide whether to uphold the Head Teacher’s decision.
  • Independent Review Panel: a request for an independent review made by the parents following a decision by the governing board to uphold the head teacher’s decision.
  • Judicial Review: this process exists outside the DfE statutory guidance and will involve a challenge to the High Court of Justice. Read more about our successful judicial review cases here.

The above process is somewhat different when dealing with private/independent schools as the process will be determined by the school’s internal process and a potential contractual dispute.

If you believe that your child has been excluded as a result of their SEN/disability, there is also scope to issue a claim with the Tribunal for disability discrimination – this applies to both public and private schools.

Our services

If you did wish to challenge a decision to permanently exclude your child, our education lawyers are here to support you in providing independent advice, drafting detailed grounds of appeal and can also attend hearings with you to provide representations. Our education solicitors are experienced in dealing with permanent exclusions via the Board of Governors, Independent Review Panel, Tribunal and the High Court.

Our education law specialists are experienced in dealing with permanent exclusions through each and every step of the process and will help you put forward a robust case in the best interests of your child. We understand the significant impact that this decision can have on a student. We will fight for you and your child.

Please contact us on 01633 240743 or by e-mail to discuss how our permanent exclusion law solicitors can help you.

We offer an initial free consultation during which we will explain (a) how we can help and (b) provide an estimate of costs.


Note: please note the data quoted is correct as of 22.03.2022.