Are the reason/s for the exclusion “serious” or “persistent”?

Are the reason/s for the exclusion “serious” or “persistent”?


A school only has the power to exclude someone where there has been at least one serious breach of the school's behaviour policy, or enough breaches to be called persistent.

This requirement is in the first part of a two part test included at paragraph 11 of the exclusions guidance, which contains the key test a school must satisfy to permanently exclude someone. The test states that the decision to exclude a pupil permanently should only be taken:

  • in response to a serious breach or persistent breaches of the school's behaviour policy; and
  • where allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others such as staff or pupils in the school.

Consider the reasons given for the exclusion in the headteacher's letter.

Next step?

Ask the question: Do these reasons represent a serious instance, or persistent instances of breaches of the school's behaviour policy?

If the answer is no, consider using the Suggested Wording document: Argument to the governing board: First limb of the threshold found in Paragraph 11 is not satisfied

Once you have answered the question, click continue to proceed.



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This information is correct at the time of writing, 5th September 2023. The law in this area is subject to change.

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