Education Access Team

The Education Access Team is part of Specialist Education Services (SES).

The team is a school facing service that supports Children and Young People (CYP) who are unable to access full time education due to being permanently excluded or are at risk of permanent exclusion.

The Education Access Team supports schools and academies to collaboratively focus on the needs of the CYP to ensure the right support is in place.

The Education Access Team provides direct support and guidance where required for:

  • Children and their families who have been permanently excluded from school.
  • Hearings and Independent Review Panels.
  • Pupils who are at risk of permanent exclusion from their school through,
    • discussion with schools regarding alternatives to Permanent Exclusion (PEx), including use of the Local Offer, alternative provision, or outreach.
  • signposting to appropriate services.
  • Other professionals on the exclusion process including discussions with partner services within Whole School Inclusion Teams to explore approaches to behaviour and policies.
  • Professionals and schools where pupils on a school roll are not receiving appropriate education due to medical or other needs. 
  • Reintegration meetings after a new school have been identified through the In Year Fair Access Protocol. (IYFAP.)
  • Supporting families with pathways to new placements.

The wider role of the Education Access Team include:

  • Monitoring of Part-time Timetables. (PTTT.)
  • Commissioning bespoke packages of support where appropriate to secure current provision.

The following information has been drawn from the government guidance – Department for Education, DfE. (1 September 2023) ‘Suspension and Permanent Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England, including pupil movement September 2023. Available at: School suspensions and permanent exclusions – GOV.UK (

Permanent Exclusion

The government recognises that school suspensions, along with managed moves and temporary off-site directions can be effective methods for headteachers and used to establish both high standards of behaviour in schools and maintain the safety of school communities. A suspension is where a pupil is temporarily removed from the school and details of when this sanction will be considered should be set out within the school’s behaviour policy.

For the vast majority of pupils, suspensions may not be necessary, as other strategies can manage behaviour.

A pupil may be suspended for one or more fixed periods (up to a maximum of 45 school days in a single academic year). Any suspension of a pupil, even for short periods, such as a half day, must be formally recorded. An informal or unofficial exclusion, such as sending a pupil home ‘to cool off’, is unlawful when it does not follow the formal school exclusion process and regardless of whether it occurs with the agreement of parents.

It is important that during a suspension, pupils still receive their education. Headteachers should take steps to ensure that work is set and marked for pupils during the suspension. This can include utilising any online pathways such as Google Classroom or other effective package developed by the school. Any time a pupil is sent home due to disciplinary reasons and asked to log on or utilise online pathways should always be recorded as a suspension.

The school’s legal duties to pupils with disabilities or special educational needs remain in force, for example, to make reasonable adjustments in how they support disabled pupils during this period.

Whenever a headteacher suspends a pupil, they must, without delay, notify parents of the period of the suspension or permanent exclusion and the reason(s) for it.

Updated legislation and guidance now state the local authority must be informed without delay of all school exclusions regardless of the length. In addition, when the headteacher suspends or permanently excludes a pupil they must, without delay, after their decision, also notify the pupil’s social worker, if they have one, and the Virtual School head if the pupil is a child in care.

Reduced Timetables

Provision – Part-time Timetable (PTTT)

All children of school age, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full-time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude, and any special educational needs they may have.

The Education Access Team is committed to working in partnership with schools and other providers to ensure that all children have a full offer of education and attend.  When schools are considering placing a child or young person on a reduced timetable, they should follow the Part Time Timetable Protocol.

To notify Suffolk County Council of a child/pupil starting a PTTT the school should use this link and form provided in the attached document.

Education Access Support Meetings

Schools can book a free 30-minute online Education Access Support Meeting, to access advice and guidance from the Education Access Team, chaired by an Education Access Officer. These are specifically designed to support early intervention around a pupil who may be experiencing numerous Suspensions or be at risk of a Permanent Exclusion (PEx). To book an EASM, please email [email protected].

The Education Access Support Meetings are held weekly on a Tuesday and will alternate between AM and PM to facilitate and be supporting of different school timetables.


The Education Access Teams can be contacted by emailing [email protected] 

Team Contact: 01473 265561

Useful documents

  1. SCC Part-Time Timetable Protocol
  2. School Return Exclusion Data Collection

Related links

  1. Keeping children safe in education – GOV.UK
  2. School suspensions and permanent exclusions GOV.UK
  3. Working together to improve school attendance GOV.UK
  4. School exclusion reviews data collection GOV.UK
  5. Children and Families Act 2014
  6. Behaviour in schools
  7. Searching, screening and confiscation at school GOV.UK
  8. Children missing education GOV.UK
  9. Education Act 1996
  10. Equality Act 2010: advice for schools GOV.UK
  11. Suffolk SENDIASS
  12. Schools’ Choice
  13. School admissions code 2021
  14. School Suspensions, Permanent Exclusions & Independent Review Template letters