Students and teachers have the right to be treated fairly and with dignity, in an environment free from disruption, intimidation, harassment and discrimination. To achieve this, all NSW Public Schools expect and encourage good behaviour from their students and staff.
Schools have a number of procedures they may put in place to encourage better behaviour and to discipline students who are poorly behaved.
All schools have a team that works with teachers, students and parents on behaviour programs. Other support staff are also available. There are certain staff members who take part in developing programs. These include:
- Home School Liaison Officers who provide support to students, parents and schools to encourage the full participation of all students in schooling. They also assist with training and development at school and district level.
- Substitute Care Teachers who liaise with schools, the Department of Community Services, non-government agencies and carers to develop integrated education for students who are in out-of-home care.
- Teachers who work collaboratively with schools and parents to support students with autism spectrum disorders.
- Teachers who support schools in developing support and plans for individual students with behavioural difficulties and assist with whole school programs. They provide training and development at school and district level.
- A Challenging Behaviour Team which assists schools to develop and implement positive intervention plans for students with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviours.
Public Schools in NSW do not tolerate bullying behaviour and teachers and staff are trained to address these behaviour problems when they occur. We also encourage parents/caregivers to speak with teachers or the principal if they are concerned that this is happening to their child.
Students with more serious behavioural problems can be suspended or even expelled from school. Suspension is a strategy used by schools to give the student time to reflect on his or her behaviour and to encourage the student to take responsibility for improving their behaviour before they rejoin their peers at school.
What does suspension mean?
There are two types of suspension - short and long. Short suspension means a student is suspended from school for one to four school days. Long suspension means a student is suspended from school for up to 20 school days.
When a student is suspended parents/caregivers are required to take an active role, in partnership with the school, to improve the behaviour of their child.
What will happen if your child is suspended?
If your child is suspended you will be notified in writing. You will also be given a copy of the school's discipline code, the suspension procedures document and information about appeal rights.
You will receive a copy of the suspension procedures and a letter from the principal. The principal's letter will tell you why your child has been suspended and how long the suspension will last. You will be asked to come to the school to discuss the suspension as soon as possible. The school will provide a study program for students on long suspensions.
How can you appeal?
You can appeal if you think that the suspension is unfair, or procedures haven't been followed properly. To appeal a suspension refer to the information given to you with the suspension notification.
What does expulsion mean?
Expulsion means that a student has to leave the school. There are two types of expulsion:
- from a school (the student can enrol at another school)
- from the public school system.
The principal can expel a student from a school. Only the Minister can decide if a student will be expelled from the public school system.