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Policies & procedures

Exclusion and suspension procedure

Our guidance sets out the stages of the exclusions process and the governing board’s role within it.


Governing boards have a statutory duty to consider certain instances of pupil suspension and exclusion and decide whether the headteacher’s decision should be upheld, or the pupil reinstated.

Our procedural guide to suspension and exclusion describes the stages of the process and the governing board’s role within it. It will be of particular interest to those clerking exclusion panels.

The guide covers:

  • headteacher notification of suspension or exclusion
  • governing board panel review of the headteacher’s decision
  • how to conduct the panel meeting
  • written notification of the decision
  • example statements for the board's decision letter
  • independent review of the board’s decision

An updated version of statutory DfE suspension and exclusion guidance is in force from September 2023. Updates relate to:

  • parents’ right to request that meetings are held remotely
  • requirements for holding remote meetings in a fair and transparent manner
  • changes to the arrangements for cancelling exclusions and suspensions

Download our guide for further information on these updates.

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