and exclusion from School?
- Every school has to have procedures for suspensions and
expulsions. You or your parent/carer can ask to see these.
- Always ask your school to put you in contact with an
Education Welfare Officer if you are suspended or excluded
- The rules can be slightly different depending on what
type of school you attend. Your local Education and Library
Board will be able to tell you what type of school you are
at and their telephone numbers below.
THE SUSPENSION PROCEDURE
- You can only be suspended from school by the Principal.
- You cannot be suspended for more than five days at first,
- The Principal can then suspend you for a longer time by
getting the Board of Governors to agree.
- You cannot be suspended from school for any more than
45 days in one school year.
- When you are suspended, the Principal must immediately
write to your parents/carers.
- At the same time the Principal will also write to the
Education and Library Board, the Chairperson of The Board
of Governors and, in the case of Catholic Council Maintained
Schools (CCMS), the local diocesan office and give reasons
for your suspension. This notice must be in writing.
- The Principal should invite your parents/carers to the
school to discuss the suspension.
- If the Principal decides to suspend you for a longer
time s/he must write out again to your parents/carers.
- The school must provide suitable education for you while
you are suspended, e.g. they may arrange for collection
of school notes/ homeworks for you at the school office
and you would then have to complete any schoolwork in your
- If you are out of school for a long time, home tuition
may be provided through your Education & Library Board.
- There is no right of appeal for either you or your parents/carers
against a decision to suspend. If you think you have been
suspended unfairly, it is best to contact the Children's
Law Centre for advice.
The Expulsion Procedure
- You must have been suspended at least once before you
can be expelled.
- Before an expulsion can take place there must be a meeting
between your parents/carers, the Principal, Chief Executive
of the Education and Library Board and Chairperson of The
Board Of Governors. You can ask to attend this meeting.
- You may still be expelled if the parents/carers do not
attend this meeting. They need only be invited to attend.
- The meeting must include discussion about your future
- If you attend a Board controlled school, the Principal
has to prepare papers and send these to the suspensions
and Expulsions of the Education and Library Board where
you go to school.
The papers then get sent to a committee canned the Committee
on the Suspension and Expulsion of pupils.
- If you attend a CCMS school, a voluntary school or a
grant maintained integrated school; the Board of Governors
of your school makes the final decision about whether you
will be expelled.
- Once the decision is made, the Principal must write immediately
to your parent/ carer and tell them about their right of
appeal against the decision, the time limit set by the Education
& Library Board for lodging an appeal and where the
appeal should be lodged.
- An appeal can be made to the Education and Library Board
Expulsion of Pupils Appeal Tribunal for the area in which
the school from which you have been expelled is located.
- This must be done by your parents/carers unless you are
- It is important to act quickly as you must usually tell
the Education & Library Board that you wish to appeal
within 10 days of the date of the letter confirming your
- A parent or pupil who wishes to appeal the decision must
send the Tribunal the reasons in writing for the appeal
to be made.
- You can go to the Tribunal and speak at the hearing, if
- You are allowed to bring a representative to the appeal
hearing and it is important that you put forward your views.
- At the hearing of an Appeal, the Expulsions Appeal Tribunal
must consider all of the circumstances of the case. In particular
the Tribunal will look at the things listed below:
(i) Anything presented in writing to the Tribunal
(ii) Anything said by you, your parent, your carer, your friend
or representative at the hearing
(iii) Anything said by the Education & Library Board and
any other people involved in the decision to expel you.
Whether your school's procedures for expulsion were properly
The interests of other pupils and teachers in the school.
15. The decision of the Tribunal is sent in writing to
you (if you are over 18) or your parents and whoever expelled
you as soon as possible after the hearing has taken place.
If you are suspended or excluded from school and you would
like more advice contact the Children's Law Centre. Our details
Education & Library Boards
||028 90 564000
||028 25 653333
||028 90 566200
||028 37 512200
||028 82 411411
Council for Catholic Maintained
Schools, Diocesan Offices
|Down & Connor
028 90 327875
028 87 752116
028 66 322709
028 71 261931
The Children's Law Centre
Floor Philip House
028 9024 5704
028 9024 5679
Chalky Freephone Helpline 0808 808 5678
Chalky Freepost "Chalky" BEL3837
Belfast BT15 1BR