Suspension, Exclusion and Transfer of Students in ACT Public Schools Policy

  1. What is this policy about?
    1. This policy supports the provisions in Section 36 of the Education Act 2004 relating to the suspension, transfer or exclusion of students in ACT public schools.
  2. Policy Statement
    1. All ACT public schools have a whole of school behaviour support plan that contributes to a safe and supportive school environment.
    2. Suspension, exclusion or transfer of students enrolled in ACT public schools may be used as consequences for student behaviour where all reasonable action taken by the school to engage the student has been unsuccessful.
    3. The purpose of suspension is to:
      • maintain or restore a safe and supportive learning environment for students and staff
      • allow the school time to review its practice and establish support plans for the student
      • communicate the significance of the behaviour and for the student to accept responsibility for behaviour change.
    4. The purpose of transfer is to move a student from a school in which:
      • severe misbehaviour has become entrenched
      • an incident of misbehaviour is so severe that re-entry to the school concerned would be unreasonable.
    5. The purpose of exclusion is to remove a student who poses an extreme threat to the welfare and safety of staff and students. Exclusions are used in exceptional circumstances when the support required to establish a safe work environment is beyond the resources of the school.
    6. Suspended student

    7. Parents are responsible for the supervision of the student during the suspension period.
    8. The school must provide the student with meaningful school work during the period of suspension.
    9. Students who are suspended for seven or more school days in a school term (whether or not these are consecutive school days) must be given a reasonable opportunity to access appropriate counselling.
    10. While the transfer of a student is being considered, the student must return to school if they are of compulsory school age, or the period of suspension must be extended until the decision is made.
    11. Appeals

    12. Students and parents must be advised in writing that they have the right to appeal a suspension, transfer or exclusion if they believe correct procedures have not been followed or that an unfair decision has been made.
  3. Who does this policy apply to?
    1. This policy applies to all ACT public schools and the Directorate.
  4. Context
    1. Section 36 of the Education Act 2004 describes the circumstances under which suspension, exclusion of transfer can be considered.
    2. Alternatives to suspension should be considered in the first instance. These alternatives should be described in the whole of school behaviour support plan.
    3. The power to suspend, transfer or exclude rests with the Director-General of the Education and Training Directorate. The Director-General may delegate the power to suspend a student for not longer than 15 days to the principal, the Deputy Director-General or a School Network Leader. Acting principals are principals for this purpose.
  5. Responsibilities
    1. Principal: Principals must be satisfied that all reasonable alternatives have been considered or have been unsuccessful and that suspension, transfer or exclusion is warranted.
    2. Policy Owner: The Director, Student Engagement is responsible for this policy.
  6. Monitoring and Review
    1. The Policy Owner monitors the policy. This includes an annual scan of operation and review. A full review of the policy will be conducted within a three year period.
  7. Contact
    1. For support contact Student Engagement Branch on (02) 6205 6925 or email ETDStudentWellbeing@act.gov.au.
  8. Complaints
    1. Any concerns about the application of this policy or the policy itself, should be raised with:
  9. References
    1. Definitions
      • Exclusion: the process of excluding a student from continuing enrolment or re-enrolment at any ACT public school
      • Parent: for the purpose of this policy, parent refers to any adult with parental responsibilities for a student. For the purpose of this policy, a student with independent student status is considered to be the parent
      • Suspension: the process of temporarily withdrawing a student from attending school if they display behaviours described under section 36 of the Act.
      • Transfer: the process of changing the enrolment of a student from one public school to another public school.
    2. Legislation
    3. Implementation Documents
      • Suspension, Exclusion or Transfer of Students in ACT Public Schools Procedures
      • Suspension, Exclusion or Transfer of Students in ACT Public Schools Guidelines
    4. Related Policies and Information
      • Countering Bullying, Harassment and Violence in ACT Public Schools Policy
      • Countering Racism in ACT Public Schools Policy
      • Countering Sexual Harassment in ACT Public Schools Policy
      • Engaging Schools Framework Discussion Paper
      • Providing Safe Schools P-12 Policy

Suspension, Exclusion or Transfer of Students in ACT Public Schools Policy: SETS201010 is the unique identifier of this document. It is the responsibility of the user to verify that this is the current and complete version of the document, available on the Directorate’s website at http://www.education.act.gov.au/publications_and_policies/school_and_corporate_policies/A-Z.

Policy Identifier: SETS201010

Published: January 2016

Related Policies and Information:

  • Countering Bullying, Harassment and Violence in ACT Public Schools Policy
  • Countering Racism in ACT Public Schools Policy
  • Countering Sexual Harassment in ACT Public Schools Policy
  • Engaging Schools Framework Discussion Paper
  • Providing Safe Schools P-12 Policy