School exclusion

About the issue

Exclusion from school is linked to a much wider set of recurring inequalities, circumstances and consequences including Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the criminal justice system. Its impact on the life chances of young people can be far reaching and avoiding exclusion should be understood as part of a wider ambition to intervene in experiences of disadvantage at a formative stage in a young person’s life.  

There is also a strong link between young people being excluded from school and being criminally exploited. The Children’s Society have conducted research into what 11 young people say are their experiences of school and exclusions, including the role of exploitation. You can access Youth Voice on School Exclusions, here. 

‘Young people have told us that being excluded from school has a huge impact on their lives. Their learning is disrupted, their emotional health and well-being is damaged, so too are their relationships with friends and family and their relationship to learning and achieving. Their confidence and self – esteem declines and they lose hope for the future. Young people told us they think there is a link between being excluded and being at risk of serious harm through exploitation.’

Youth Voice on School Exclusions 

For the most recent Welsh Government data on school exclusions in Wales, please click below.

StatsWales Exclusions

To appeal against an exclusion, and take steps to maintain the education of excluded learners, please see the below 2019 Welsh Government guidance.  

Exclusion from schools and Pupil Referral Units

This guidance should be read in conjunction with the following Welsh Government guidance on meetings about school exclusions. 

School exclusions meetings


Good Practice

Bridgend Youth Justice Service    

Bridgend Youth Justice Service works with local schools to discuss children who are at high risk of exclusion, many of whom are identified as being at high risk of offending as well. Open discussions look at the needs of the child and their family at an early point to discuss what can be done to support them. If the YOS feel they can help, the family are offered support from a voluntary prevention angle. There is a focus on keeping the child in the school. Schools really appreciate this level of support and feeling that they are working together.