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.

When the suspension is lifted with conditions

The student must return to school on the first school day following the board meeting. The board cannot set another date for the student to return to school.

  1. The student returns to school immediately and attends full time. The board has set reasonable conditions that the student must meet.

Consider guidance and counselling

  1. You must provide guidance and counselling to the student as appropriate upon their return to school. This may be part of the conditions set by the board.

* NOTE: Under Section 103 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link), the principal of a state school shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that students get good guidance and counselling.

[Refer Part II, Section 3: 10 Suspension conditions]

Tell Ministry of Education

Do this immediately

  1. You must submit the “advice of outcome of suspension” electronic form in ENROL.

Principal's role

  1. While monitoring the conditions, if you believe the conditions are not being met you may request the board meet to reconsider its earlier decision.