Exclusion from school your rights
© Govan Law Centres Childrens Rights Project
Schools have no informal right to suspend pupils or send them home. If a school wants to remove the pupil either temporarily (suspend them) or permanently (expel them), they must use formal exclusion procedures.
Pupils can only be excluded in very limited circumstances, and there are strict procedural rules which schools must follow. A failure to follow these rules could result in an exclusion being set aside.
It is worth bearing in mind that all temporary exclusions which a pupil has had will be taken into account if the education authority are considering permanently excluding the pupil at a later date. It is therefore worthwhile considering appealing against even very short exclusions or suspensions.
When can a pupil be excluded from school?
There are only two situations when a pupil can be excluded from school:
If your case does not fall into one of the above categories, you may be entitled to have the exclusion set aside by an appeal committee.
What procedures should the education authority follow?
On the same day as the pupil is excluded, the school should speak to the parent or write to them (or to the pupil him or herself if over 16) and tell them that the pupil has been excluded, and give them a date, time and place for a meeting to discuss the exclusion. This meeting must be within 7 days of the day after the pupil was excluded.
Within 8 days following the exclusion, the education authority must write to the parent (or the pupil him or herself if over 16) telling them:
N.B: The education authority do not have to send out this written intimation if the pupil is re-admitted to the school within 7 days or the parent (or pupil him or herself if over 16) tells the head teacher that they do not wish to appeal against the exclusion.
If the education authority do not follow these procedures, you may be entitled to have the exclusion set aside by an appeal committee.
How do I appeal against an exclusion?
Appeals must be made in writing. The education authority can tell you who you should address your appeal to. If it is in relation to a Glasgow school, you would write to the Clerk to the Appeals Committee at the City Chambers.
If you are considering appealing against an exclusion, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible, as the procedures can be complicated.
The Childrens Rights Project is funded by the Greater Govan Social Inclusion Partnership and the Scottish Executive.