This paper focuses on the issue of exclusion from school in England. Exclusion from school is seen as indicative of behaviour that teachers find unacceptable within school, as such it represents their limits to tolerance. Aggressive, disruptive and non-compliant behaviour features strongly in reasons given by schools for excluding pupils. The word “violence” is still applied sparingly as a descriptor for pupil behaviour. An overview of the evidence about the scale and nature of school exclusion is provided, drawing on the author's empirical research in the field. The paper also presents an overview of policy responses to the issue and how these relate to broader issues of child welfare. The paper concludes by reviewing policy tensions relating to school exclusion, particularly in relation to the social inclusion agenda.