Adverse childhood experiences

Traumatic events that occur during childhood.

Alternative provision

An education institution for students outside of mainstream and special schooling. Includes Pupil Referral Units and annexes to mainstream schools.

Balance of probabilities

The legal test for governing board to decide what the correct facts are in exclusion reviews. Where there is a dispute about what happened, the governing board and independent review panels should decide whether it is more likely than not that the pupil did what they are accused of.


An NHS service that assess and treat young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health needs. Stands for "Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services". 


The process of coercing, pressuring or manipulating young people into engaging in criminal activity. Commonly, this is associated with “county lines” drug trafficking. Stands for "Childhood Criminal Exploitation".

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

An NHS service that assess and treat young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health needs.

Childhood criminal exploitation

The process of coercing, pressuring or manipulating young people into engaging in criminal activity. Commonly, this is associated with “county lines” drug trafficking.

Claim for discrimination

A challenge against an exclusion in the First Tier Tribunal or County Court, alleging that the young person has been discriminated against.

Clerk to the governing board

A person with responsibility for arranging the governing board hearing. They may also distribute evidence, type minutes and be your point of contact for the governing board hearing. 


The inducement of children to engage in sexual activity through coercion or manipulation. Stands for "Childhood Sexual Exploitation".


An organisation that holds information about a person. In relation to school files, the school holding the file is the data-controller


An individual about whom information is held by an organisation. Schools keep records about a student's education. This makes the student the data-subject.

Educational psychologist

A professional based in a clinical team, in a school or in the local authority who works to support young people by identifying additional needs then planning for and providing tailored support.

Exclusions Guidance

Statutory guidance to schools, governing board, and local authorities on the law and process for excluding, and reviewing exclusions. 

Exclusions Officer

The person with responsibility for overseeing exclusions at the local education authority. 

First Tier Tribunal

A judicial body that will hear appeals against exclusions if the family believe the young person has been the victim of discrimination on the basis of disability.

Freedom of information

The process for obtaining information about a school or other body that is not personal to any individual.

High Court

A Court that hears cases of judicial review. It has a range of powers to order a public body, such as a school or independent review panel, to rectify an error in their decision making.

Judicial review

A type of court case in which a judge is asked to review the decision of a public body and correct errors in decision making.


A legal principle. It requires that public bodies such as a school or IRP must only take decisions that they have been given the power to take in law.

Local authority

A borough, county or city council that has responsibility for providing education to children in their area.

Maintained school

A school that is funded by and under the control of the local authority.

Managed move

A process which moves a young person from the registration of one school to the registration of another by agreement between the family and the schools.

Managed transfer

A type of managed move in which the local authority guarantees that the young person will not return to the sending school, even If the trial period fails. 

Panel pack

A bundle of documents compiled by the headteacher to support their case for exclusion. It will be provided to the governing board and the family ahead of the review meeting.

Permanent exclusion

When a pupil is removed from the school permanently and taken off the school roll.


Shortened version for "permanent exclusion". 

Public body

An organisation that performs a public function with public funds. Includes schools (includes academies and free-schools, but not independent or private schools), CAMHS, the local authority and the police.

Pupil referral unit

A type of alternative provision, typically for young people who have been permanently excluded from a mainstream or special school.


The legal principle which sets a standard for the decision making of all public bodies. It requires that public bodies include relevant information, disregard irrelevant information and do not make decisions that are unreasonable, given the information available.


The legal principle that requires a public body to account for all relevant information, and come to a rational decision. Headteachers, governing boards, and IRPs must all be reasonable when reviewing exclusions.

Recommended reconsideration

One of the findings the IRPs can make. The effect is to send the decision back to the governing board to consider again. There is no penalty if the governing board come to the same decision again and uphold the exclusion.


The process of protecting children and vulnerable people from harm.


Section 20 Children and Families Act 2014 defines a child as having SEN if he or she "has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special education provision to be made for him or her". Stands for "special educational needs". 

SEN expert

A person appointed by an IRP to provide expert advice to the panel on SEN issues relevant to the exclusion.

Subject access request

The legal process for obtaining information about yourself or a person you are representing that is held by a school or other body.


An exclusion for a set number of days, after which the young person will be reintegrated into the school community.

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This information is correct at the time of writing, 26th November 2023. The law in this area is subject to change.

Coram Children’s Legal Centre cannot be held responsible if changes to the law outdate this publication. Individuals may print or photocopy information in CCLC publications for their personal use.

Professionals, organisations and institutions must obtain permission from the CCLC to print or photocopy our publications in full or in part.