Skip to content
Pupils & learning

Exclusion and suspension panels

Guidance for governors and trustees reviewing the headteacher's decision to suspend or exclude a pupil.


Governing boards have a statutory duty to consider certain instances of pupil suspension and exclusion. This forms part of the board’s wider role to hold executive leaders to account for the lawful use of suspension and exclusion.

The mechanism for this is a meeting whereby a panel of governors/trustees determine whether the headteacher’s decision to exclude was lawful, reasonable, and procedurally fair.

Our guidance for governors and trustees serving on an exclusion panel covers:

  • the purpose of the panel meeting
  • reviewing the evidence
  • questions to ask
  • reaching a decision

The guide also includes a decision-making framework to help the panel consider the facts and consult relevant sources of evidence.

Member-only content

Want to read this?

Become a member

NGA members get exclusive access to hundreds of practical resources including guidance, checklists and planners.

We’re here to support you at every stage of your governance journey with expert advice, training, events, and much more.

Already a member?

Log in

Related content