School Exclusion

Cognus’ School Exclusion service provides information, advice and guidance on the prevention of exclusion to schools. The team is responsible for recording and reporting statutory exclusion data on behalf of the London Borough of Sutton.

Additionally, the team will make the necessary arrangements, in partnership with the Limes College in Sutton, to offer pupils suitable education from the 6th day of permanent exclusion.

There are two types of school exclusion from Maintained Schools, Academies and Pupil Referral Units which are lawful: fixed-period and permanent exclusions.

  • Fixed-period exclusion: Where a pupil is not allowed in a school for a specified number of days, or for part of the school day
  • Permanent exclusion: Where the Head Teacher has decided that a pupil should not continue at the school in response to a serious breach or persistent breaches of the schools behaviour policy; and where allowing the pupil to remain in the school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school

Schools should have regard to the Local Areas Graduated Response – Preventing Exclusion document to ensure all reasonable steps are being taken to provide support and intervention, and have been taken prior to the last resort of permanent exclusion.

Reporting exclusion
Schools and academies have a statutory duty to record and report both fixed-period and permanent exclusions to the Local Authority. In the case of the London Borough of Sutton, this is managed by Cognus.

In accordance with the DfE Exclusions from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units September 2017, Cognus must be notified immediately of a permanent exclusion, or of an individual student’s fixed-period exclusion, if the exclusion issued is:

  • For five days or more
  • And/or where multiple fixed term exclusions issued within the same term total five days or more
  • And/or where a student will miss a public exam or National Curriculum Test (NCT) due to the exclusion

Please note that schools and academies do not need to send individual notifications for students who have received a fixed-period exclusion if they do not meet any of the above three criteria.

In addition, schools and academies must report on all fixed-period exclusions once a term. The format is not defined in law but must include the total number of pupils excluded, the accumulated number of days excluded, and the reasons for the exclusions.

Individual Pupil Exclusion Notification – Primary

Individual Pupil Exclusion Notification – Secondary

All exclusion notifications should be returned to

If you would like to discuss the Graduated Response and inclusion, or require information and advice about school exclusion, please contact the Cognus Inclusion Coordinator on 07508 984 925 or 020 8323 0450, or email

Vulnerable Pupils Panel
For schools to make a referral to the Vulnerable Pupils Panel, please send the completed paperwork to

For Primary referrals, a completed EHAT form must be sent to the above email address and /

The EHAT Google form can be completed here

Information on the EHAT process can be found here

For Secondary referrals, a completed VPP form and a transition grid should be sent to

The template VPP form can be downloaded here

The template VPP transition grid can be downloaded here