Survey of unofficial exclusions


Contact a Family is seeking the views of parents with disabled children who may have been unofficially excluded from school.

The charity, which runs the SEN National Advice Service, is responding to a number of enquiries it receives each month from parents whose children are not allowed to attend school or out of school activities, despite not being formally excluded. Such exclusions could include parents being asked to remove their child from school before the end of the school day, or children being refused the opportunity to take part in school trips. These kinds of exclusions are unlawful, even if conducted with the consent of parents.

In England and Wales, pupils can only be excluded for disciplinary reasons and the school must formally tell parents that their child will be excluded. The school must provide written details of why the child is being excluded and how long the exclusion will last. Parents must also receive written documentation of their rights and opportunities to seek redress, and about the arrangements the school has made to provide alternative full-time education for the child.

Contact a Family is asking parents in England and Wales to complete an online survey so it can get a better picture of how widespread unofficial exclusions are and how they can affect families. The survey can be found at:

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  1. My son was excluded from fall time education when he was five
    For nearly 5 months then he was excluded from
    Dinner times we had to pick him up and he was excluded
    From the school bus they also tried for 3. Years unsuccessfully
    To get him into a special needs school he is 16 now and is in

  2. I am SEN advisor county wide with ‘Learning to Change Cumbria’ I was hoping that once this survey is complete, you could forward me the results for Cumbria. This would help us in our plight to make a difference for our children. Thanks.



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