The board’s role in effective student behaviour management
Ko tā te poari tūnga whakahaere tōtika i te whanonga ākonga
Each student's right to an education must be balanced with the need to ensure all students are able to learn in an emotionally and physically safe environment.
Taking a student out of school can have a significant impact on their learning and social outcomes. That is why stand-downs and suspensions should always be the principal's last response after all other avenues have been tried.
What should be in the principal's report?
- Clear, factual and neutral information about what happened, including when and where it happened
- Reasons why the principal considers the incident justifies suspension. The principal's reasons must meet the legal threshold in section 14 of the Education Act 1989 (i.e. gross misconduct, continual disobedience or behaviour risking serious harm)
- Any other appropriate background information about the student's history e.g. pastoral care. This background information must not be confused with the principal's reasons for suspension
- The report must be accurate, up to date, complete, relevant and not misleading
Who can stand-down or suspend a student?
Only the principal can stand-down or suspend a student. They have to decide if the circumstances of the student's behaviour fall into one of three categories.
- the student's gross misconduct is a harmful or dangerous example to students at the school, or
- the student's continual disobedience is a harmful or dangerous example to students at the school, or
- the student's behaviour is likely to cause them harm, or harm to other students at the school.