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NAHT Northern Ireland

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NAHT Northern Ireland represents principals and vice-principals in around two-thirds of 1,150 schools in Northern Ireland. NAHT Northern Ireland provide advice, training and support for its members on a range of issues faced by senior leaders in schools. Along with our colleagues in England and Wales, we are there to defend and extend the rights of school leaders.  

NAHT NI is democratic and member-led, and supported by its Belfast-based team of staff alongside their colleagues based in both Wales and England.

NAHT Northern Ireland
Carnmoney House
Edgewater Office Park


02890 776633 

Exclusion: when and when not to exclude

Head teachers should use exclusions sparingly and reluctantly; you should see it as a last resort, and many head teachers view any exclusion they make as a failure on the school’s part. However, it’s usually the case that the exclusion of a child is the only action left available.

Sometimes, parents challenge a head teacher’s decision to exclude. So, understandably, head teachers might feel a little unsure about the legal safety of any exclusion they’re considering.

The scenarios below are to give you a sense as to when a decision to exclude would be right or wrong. Read through them and decide what you would do in each case.

There then follows the advice you would receive from us regarding each case for you to compare with your thinking.

First published 26 August 2020