Exclusion in Sixth Form

The Statutory School Exclusion Guidance applies to most, but not all, schools in this country. It is not always clear if a Sixth Form is covered by the guide.

If you are unsure whether your school is covered by the school exclusion guidance, please look at section 2-3:

•”Except where specifically stated, this [statutory school exclusion] guide applies to all: maintained schools; Academy Schools (including Free Schools but not 16-19 Academies); Alternative Provision Academies (including AP Free Schools); and PRUs. The term ‘school’ in this document is used to describe any school to which the guidance applies. Where the term ‘Academy’ is used it refers to any category of Academy to which the guidance applies.
• Except in relation to pupils in PRUs, or where stated, the requirements of the guide apply in relation to all pupils, including those who may be below or above compulsory school age, such as those attending nursery classes or sixth forms. [i.e. Year 12-13 as part of a secondary school]
• This guide does not apply to: independent schools (other than the Academies listed above); City Technology Colleges; City Colleges for the Technology of the Arts; sixth form colleges; or 16 – 19 Academies, all of which have separate exclusion procedures.

In general, if a student has been excluded from a Sixth Form College the law and statutory guidance regarding exclusions does not apply, as they are only applicable to schools.

You will therefore need to find out whether it is a Year 12-13 i.e. as part of a school (much more common in the independent sector), or a separate sixth form college or 16-19 Academy.

You are advised to check the school’s website alongside the head teacher’s decision letter.

Can I challenge a permanent exclusion in a sixth form that isn’t covered by the guidance?

Essentially, any right to challenge an exclusion is entirely at the sixth form college’s behest. Check the wording of the exclusion letter to see whether a right to appeal/review the decision is at all open to you.

The School Exclusion Project is able to assist you with representation as we normally would if there is this opportunity to challenge it.

Even without an avenue of appeal, a letter requesting one may be possible if you believe that the exclusion is notably unfair/discriminatory.

Please get in touch if you need any advice on this issue.