A principal of a state school can exclude a student from their school on the following grounds:
The principal must be satisfied that suspension of the student from the school would be inadequate to deal with the student's behaviour, unless the student poses an unacceptable risk to the safety or wellbeing of other students or staff or the student has been convicted of an offence.
No. A principal can immediately suspend a student and ask them to leave the school grounds, but there are processes the principal must follow to exclude a student which include:
Yes, conduct which did not occur on school premises or during school hours can be a reason for exclusion, provided one of the two grounds concerning conduct is used as the basis for proposing the exclusion. The principal may exclude a student from school if they are reasonably satisfied the conduct of the student:
A principal can also exclude a student if they pose an unacceptable risk to the safety or wellbeing of other students and/or staff or if they have been convicted of an offence and the principal is reasonably satisfied it would not be in the best interests of other students or staff for the student to continue to be enrolled at the school.
Yes, but principals should be familiar with the obligations outlined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Qld). The school must have records that demonstrate appropriate adjustments have been made to enable the student to understand the behaviour expectations and consequences, access the curriculum, achieve curriculum outcomes and participate in school life on the same basis as other students. A Functional Behaviour Assessment (FBA) is useful for determining reasonable adjustments. Trained regional staff are available to conduct these assessments. However where a student poses an unacceptable risk to the safety and wellbeing of other students and/or staff, the principal may act immediately to suspend the student pending exclusion.
The principal makes the decision to exclude a student from the school unless the principal or the Director-General reasonably believe it would be inappropriate to do so. For instance, it may be inappropriate for a principal to make the decision to exclude a student if it could be reasonably perceived the principal is biased in making the decision or a conflict of interest exists. In these circumstances the principal recommends the exclusion of a student to the Director-General, or his/her delegate who will make the decision and consider any submissions. An example of bias could be where the principal is the victim of the incident which led to the grounds for the proposed exclusion of the student.
If a principal believes the student's behaviour is serious enough to form the basis of grounds for exclusion from another school or other schools they should recommend to the Director-General that the student be excluded from certain schools. The principal suspends the student with a proposal to exclude from their own school and then recommends the student's exclusion from certain schools to the Director-General for consideration.
A principal's decision to suspend with a proposal to exclude from their school and a decision to recommend exclusion from certain schools to the Director-General are separate matters.
The Queensland Police Service should be contacted when the principal plans to apply a disciplinary consequence because the student has been/may have been convicted. Where police are investigating an incident the principal is not prohibited from investigating the matter and can take disciplinary action. The principal should speak with the investigating officer to ensure the school investigation does not compromise the QPS investigation. The primary responsibility of the principal is to maintain the good order and management of the school and manage the risk a student may present to other students and staff.
New guidelines have been developed to assist principals with requesting information from the Queensland Police Commissioner 442K and guidance around undertaking risk assessment 1.0M.
It is important for principals to ascertain whether interpretation or translation services are required by the student and/or parent/s to ensure that the exclusion processes are understood by all parties involved.
The principal has 20 school days to make the final exclusion decision. This timeframe begins on the day the notice proposing exclusion is given to the student.
If the student is subject to an order granting guardianship or custody to the Chief Executive, Department of Communities, the respective Child Safety Service Centre Manager is contacted. Where the student is independent the principal should deal directly with the student concerned and/or an adult support person nominated by the student.
When the principal makes the decision not to exclude the student, the student is told they can return to school immediately. A formal notice of the decision is given to the student (posted or hand delivered) as soon as possible after telling them of the decision. The student does not have to wait to receive this notice before returning to school.
If the principal considers it appropriate, the student may continue to attend a work experience placement during the suspension period in consultation with the work experience provider, unless attendance at school is a necessary part of the placement. The principal needs to be familiar with their obligations in relation to information sharing.
It is important that students and their parents understand the reasons for an exclusion decision. Giving reasons promotes fairness, transparency and accountability in decision making. The term 'reasons' is defined by legislation and means:
The exclusion notice in OneSchool will require a principal to insert facts, evidence and reasons for both the proposal to exclude and the final exclusion decision.
A case manager is allocated who will:
Principals should contact the Principal Advisor, Education Services or nominated officer in their
respective regional office.
Processes regarding exclusions are outlined in detail in the Safe, supportive and disciplined school environment procedure. OneSchool also guides the principal through these steps.
This page was last reviewed on 19 Mar 2015 at 04:30PM