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Exclusion: when - and when not - to exclude


Head teachers should use exclusions sparingly and reluctantly; you should see it as a last resort, and many view any exclusion they make as a failure on the school’s part. However, it’s usually the case that the exclusion of a child is the only action left available. 

Sometimes, the decision to exclude can be challenged, and heads might be forgiven for feeling unsure as to the legal safety of any exclusion they might be considering. 

The scenarios below are intended to give you a sense as to when a decision to exclude would be right or wrong. Read through them and decide what you would do in each case. 

There then follows the advice you would receive from us regarding each case for you to compare with your thinking.

This article is available to NAHT members only.

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