Permanent exclusion is where your head teacher decides that you have done something that is against the school behavioural rules, and because of that you are no longer able to stay in the school.
Exclusion can be for a serious, ‘one-off’ thing such as bringing a knife into school or hurting another pupil. You can also be permanently excluded for behaviour that isn’t so serious, but you do it many times, like shouting out a lot in classes.
Permanent exclusion is a last resort though, so head teachers have to be really sure it is the right decision. You can only be excluded for disciplinary reasons – so you’ve done something that is not allowed in the school behavioural policy.
If something has gone wrong at school, and you think you are going to be in trouble, you have a right to explain everything that happened to the head teacher. Only the head teacher can decide if you are going to be excluded.
The headteacher has to fully investigate what happened. The head teacher or another teacher might ask you to write a statement about what happened. You can ask to do this at home with help from your family or friends. You should be given time to do this. You should tell your teacher if there were other people involved so they can be asked to write a statement too.
The headteacher must also tell your parents or carers about what has happened – this might be hard for you, but it is important that you are honest with them. Your headteacher will send your parents a letter about their decision – you can read this too.
Your parents may decide that they want to challenge the head teacher’s decision to permanently exclude you. You can also challenge the decision.
There has to be an official meeting soon after the headteacher makes this decision – this is with the School Governors and your head teacher. This is called the Governing Body Meeting.
You and your parents should also be invited to this meeting. The Governors of the school are adults who are chosen to help the school to achieve its goals and check that everything the school is doing the right thing. The headteacher has to tell the Governors why it was the right decision to exclude you. You have a right to explain to the Governors that it was the wrong decision or that it was unfair.
If the Governors agree with the headteacher, then they will support the decision to exclude you. This decision itself can be challenged. This is sort of like going to the Court of Appeal. You can then challenge it at what’s called the Independent Review Panel. These people will decide whether the headteacher and the governors made the right decision. Again, you can tell them that it was the wrong decision or that it was unfair.
If the Governors disagree with the headteacher, then you can go back to school. If you don’t want to go back to the school, that’s okay. You just need to tell your parents this.