Stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions guidelines – Part 1

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 Stand-downs, Suspensions, Exclusions and Expulsions (SEEE) Guidelines should be replaced with the relevant sections in the new Education and Training Act 2020. In Part 1, this includes replacing the sections of the Act in Appendix 1: The Education Act 1989 and Appendix 2: Education (Stand-down, Suspension, Exclusion and Expulsion) Rules 1999. In Part 2, this includes replacing the sections of the Act in the letters in the Appendix in the Good Practice Guidelines.

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 2 – Good practice are given where relevant.

Re-enrolment of excluded student

The Ministry of Education's role

  1. If the principal of the excluding school has not been able to arrange enrolment, the Ministry will make all reasonable attempts to consult the student’s parents, the board and any other person or organisation that may be interested in, or able to advise on or help with, the student’s education or welfare.
  2. The Ministry may:
  • if satisfied that it is not inappropriate for the student to return to the excluding school, lift the exclusion; or
  • arrange for enrolment and, if necessary, direct the board of any other state school (that is not an integrated school) to enrol the student; or
  • arrange for the student to enrol at the Correspondence School.

The board’s role

  1. A board must comply with a direction to enrol a student from the Ministry of Education. A direction overrides the provisions of any enrolment scheme the school may have in place.
  2. If the exclusion is lifted, or a direction to enrol is made, the student is able to enrol and attend school immediately.