Exclusions during COVID-19

Temporary changes to the school exclusions process during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department for Education have announced temporary changes to the school exclusion process. This statutory guidance describes the temporary changes that have been made:

Changes to the school exclusion process during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (opens in new window)

The normal arrangements and procedures that must follow a decision to exclude a child on disciplinary grounds, are described in the 2017 statutory guidance:

Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England (opens in new window)

These procedures are unchanged except as noted in the guidance above.

The changes apply to exclusions from:

  • maintained schools
  • academies (including alternative provision academies but excluding 16 to 19 academies)
  • pupil referral units (PRUs)

The temporary arrangements came into force on 1 June 2020 and apply to all exclusions occurring from then until 24 September 2020 (inclusive of those dates), as well as:

  • permanent and fixed term exclusions occurring before 1 June 2020 which have not yet been considered by the governing board of the school
  • permanent exclusions occurring before 1 June 2020 which have been considered by the governing board, if they have chosen not to reinstate the pupil and the time limit to apply for a review of this decision has not passed
  • permanent exclusions occurring before 1 June 2020 where a parent (or pupil aged 18) has requested a review of a governing board’s decision, but this has not yet happened

Any exclusions covered by the arrangements will continue to be subject to them until the procedures for scrutiny of the exclusion have been exhausted.

Some of the changes also apply to exclusions that occur from 25 September 2020 to 24 March 2021.

An exclusion should be taken as having ‘occurred’ on the first day of the exclusion (not the date when the decision to exclude was made or communicated).

For an explanation of the changes please see the IPSEA coronavirus update web page (opens in new window)