Stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions guidelines – Part 2

About the guidelines

These guidelines:

  • are designed to assist school boards, principals, and teachers with their legal options and duties and meet their obligations under relevant statutory requirements, and
  • are for use in all state and state-integrated schools.

Independent schools may also wish to adopt this guide.

Please note:  The Education and Training Act 2020 has replaced the Education Act 1989.  Any references to the Education Act 1989 in the SSEE Guidelines  below should be replaced with the relevant sections in the new Education and Training Act 2020. This includes replacing the sections of the Act in the letters in the Good Practice Guidelines Part 2 (refer Appendix).

The guidelines comprise:

Part 1: Legal options and duties [PDF, 2.4 MB]

Part 2: Good practice [PDF, 2.4 MB]

These guidelines replace those published by the Ministry of Education in June 2004 and the 2007 Supplement. The paragraphs have been numbered for ease of use and reference. Cross-references to Part 1 – Legal options and duties are given where relevant.


Removing students from schools has huge academic and social consequences both for the student(s) directly involved, for other students, and for the wider New Zealand society.

The purpose of this good practice document is to assist current practice in relation to serious behavioural incidents at your school, including serious misconduct and/or violent behaviour that may or may not result in stand-downs and suspensions.

Stand-downs and suspensions should always be the last response after a range of other interventions have been tried and have failed to improve the situation. Information and questions covering 13 key areas are outlined to give ideas and raise questions about the efficacy of your current and future school practice.

Links to useful information sources and resources are also provided.

Schools and Ministry of Education staff have contributed examples of case studies to help illustrate good practice.

We would like to thank and acknowledge all those who have provided information, feedback and case studies contained within this document.