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Schools Suspensions Report

Schools Suspensions Report

NEWS RELEASE

18 February 2000 Immediate Release

Schools Suspensions Report

A Ministry of Education report says last year's legislation on the stand down and suspension of students from school appears to have stemmed recent increases in the number of suspensions.

There were 2,094 suspensions between July 12 and December 31 1999, the Ministry said today. During the equivalent period in 1998, 2,177 students were suspended.

Of the students suspended in July-December 1999, 781 were entitled to return to school within a week.

More than 600 others were set conditions that would help them settle back into school when they returned. They were also given appropriate learning programmes designed to minimize any loss to their education during the period they were out of school.

Ministry Senior Manager National Operations, Kathy Phillips, said these figures show that the new legislation has helped retain students in school.

"The new legislation gives principals and boards more flexibility in the way they can deal with disruptive students. The decline in suspensions shows just how necessary it was to give schools a better way of dealing with student behavioural problems.

"Schools are making use of the wider options they now have, and in particular are moving towards standing students down instead of taking the much more serious step of suspension.

"A student can now be stood down more than once in a school year, and for a total of 10 school days," explained Ms Phillips. "This gives principals more opportunities to work positively with students and their families, rather than moving straight to suspension.

"It is now a requirement that all reasonable steps are taken to give all students good guidance and counselling and to minimise disruption to their attendance at school."

END

National enquiries: Helen Sturm, Ministry of Education 04 471 4404

Regional Ministry enquiries to National Operations Manager

Auckland 09 377 7644 Hamilton 07 838 3705 Wanganui 06 345 5707 Lower Hutt 04 566 1219 Christchurch 03 365 7386 Dunedin 03 474 0152


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