Can my son be excluded from school for refusing to complete a task?

< All Topics

Can my son be excluded from school for refusing to complete a task?

Parent Asks:

Can my autistic son be issued a Fixed-term exclusion because he refused to do an unexpected test paper which led him to be put in isolation and after they insisted for him still to do it in isolation he ripped the test paper? Which is clearly an autistic meltdown. He has an EHCP the school didn’t write me a notice they just phoned me to collect him and told me to attend a reintegration meeting?

IPSEA Answers:

There is statutory guidance that schools must follow regarding exclusions, which states that schools can only exclude a pupil for disciplinary reasons, not for any other reasons such as being unable to meet needs, for example. A specific process must be followed when excluding a pupil, including the parent being issued a formal notice in writing of the exclusion. You may find it helpful to refer to the links on the following page on the IPSEA website, which explain what should happen when a child is excluded:

Exclusion from school | (IPSEA) Independent Provider of Special Education Advice

You can also find the statutory guidance here: Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England (

The guidance only applies to maintained schools, pupil referral units, academy schools and alternative provision academies in England. If your child attends a further education college or an independent school, then you should ask for a copy of their behaviour policy and exclusions policy. All settings must also adhere to the Equality Act 2010 and must not discriminate against disabled pupils. You can find more information about this here: Disability discrimination and exclusions | (IPSEA) Independent Provider of Special Education Advice

As your son has an EHC plan, it would be useful to consider if the plan is up to date and still appropriate for his needs. If you feel that additional or different support is needed, then you can request an early review if the annual review is not due soon: Asking for an early review of an EHC plan | (IPSEA) Independent Provider of Special Education Advic