Our education team are experts in exclusion law and have helped many parents overturn fixed term or permanent exclusions. Children and young people are often wrongly fixed term or permanently excluded from their schools. The stigma caused by being an excluded student can impact significantly on how staff, other parents and their peers treat them. It can also impact on their ability to achieve to their academic potential and on their future lives.

The law and guidance that headteachers must follow is very clear that a decision to exclude must be the last resort. Before deciding to exclude a student, a headteacher needs to conduct a thorough and fair investigations of all facts and circumstances that led to the potential exclusion. The headteacher should also consider a student’s background, current circumstances, potential or existing disabilities and determine whether the school needs to take reasonable steps or make adjustments to that student’s education and support before fixed term or permanently excluding them.

Often headteachers’ decisions are wrong or unfair and fail to follow the law and clear guidance provided. Parents have the right to challenge any fixed term or permanent exclusion.

A parent can challenge a fixed term exclusion for less than 5 days through a school’s internal complaints process.

A parent can appeal against a fixed term exclusion that is more than 5 days to the governing body of a school.

A decision to permanent exclude a student must be reviewed by a school’s governing body. If it upholds the exclusion, a parent can appeal against a permanent exclusion to an Independent Review Panel.

Geldards offers a free telephone consultation to all parents, which means you will have the opportunity to discuss your child’s case with an expert lawyer before deciding on what action to take. We will always provide honest and impartial advice regarding the strength of your case and whether you should pursue it. Contact us now and arrange a free telephone consultation with one of our expert lawyers who will discuss your child’s case with you, in plain English without any legal jargon. Our lawyers will consider your child’s case and help you understand whether to challenge an exclusion and the best steps forward.

Services we provide:

  • We can help advise, conduct and represent parents in internal complaints against fixed term exclusions under 5 days

  • We can help advise, conduct and represent parents in challenging fixed term exclusions for more than 5 days to a school governing body

  • We can help advise, conduct and represent parents in challenging permanent exclusions to at a school governors’ review

  • We can help advise, conduct and represent parents in challenging permanent exclusions to an Independent Review Panel.

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Adam Friel


Partner, London

+44 (0)20 7489 6448


Kevin McManamon


Senior Associate, London

020 7489 6446