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Surrender and Retention Guidelines Available for Schools

5 February 2014

Surrender and Retention Guidelines Available for Schools

The Ministry of Education has today published guidelines to help schools correctly interpret new powers for the surrender and retention of student property.

They were part of the Education Amendment Act that came into force last month.

Deputy Secretary of Sector Enablement and Support, Katrina Casey, says the safety of staff and students in schools is a top priority for the Ministry and the sector.

“The powers were put in law in direct response to what the sector said it needed in this area.

“We understand how important this is for schools, parents and kids, and there’s been extensive consultation with the sector to make sure the guidelines are effective and useful.

“The guidelines aren’t in addition to the law. They are a practical guide to help schools correctly interpret the law.

“Clearly, how this works is of critical interest for schools, and that’s why the input of their representatives has been so important in developing the guidelines. I want thank them for their commitment and hard work.”

Ms Casey says the Ministry will be watching closely how this is working for schools and listening to all feedback.

“The guidelines will be a living document, taking into account feedback.

“We know this is new for schools because the powers haven’t been set out in law before, so we want to do everything we can to help them get it right.

“While there are some limits on how far school staff can go in searching a student or their property, schools will always be able to call in police where they have serious concerns.

“Along with Patrick Walsh, who chaired the sector group that helped us oversee the completion of these guidelines, I have written to all schools letting them know they’re available and urging them to read them.”

Under the Education Amendment Act, the Secretary for Education was required to provide rules and guidelines on surrender and retention.

They are on the Ministry website at


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