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Stand-downs, suspensions & exclusions at 14-year low

Hon Hekia Parata
Minister of Education

29 July 2014

Stand-downs, suspensions & exclusions at 14-year low

Student stand-downs, suspensions and exclusions have reached 14-year lows, says Education Minister Hekia Parata.

Ms Parata says Ministry of Education figures from 2000-2013 show a peak in the mid-2000s, but these numbers have dropped significantly.

“We’re seeing far fewer kids being removed from school. That is great news because it means they’re staying in the classroom and continuing to learn.

“Under this Government we’ve had a very strong focus on supporting positive behaviour and giving schools the skills to deal with difficult behaviour, and this is paying off.”

Ms Parata says Student Engagement Information shows that since 2008 there were:
• 4,768 fewer stand-downs – a reduction of 24 per cent
• 1,292 fewer suspensions – a reduction of 30 per cent
• 300 fewer exclusions – a reduction of 22 per cent

“This all shows how hard teachers, principals, parents and communities are working to encourage positive behaviour in our schools.

“We have the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) initiatives in more than 500 schools and that will be about 800 schools by 2017. There is also the Bullying Prevention Guide for schools released this year, and Behaviour Contracts which will be introduced for schools and students.

“In the past, too many students saw little point in being at school. Many became bored and disruptive. Now, they have more choice through Trades Academies and Vocational Pathways. These improvements are changing how many students see education and their attitude is improving as a result.”

Ms Parata says there is still more work to do to reduce the rate of student stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions, especially for some groups.

“The rates for Māori, Pasifika and boys are all down from 2008, but remain higher than for other groups, such as Pākeha or girls.

“All the information we have gathered around stand-downs and suspensions, helps to get extra support to students who need it the most.”

Ms Parata says the number of early leaving exemptions has also dropped by 232 - or 35 per cent - since 2008, while expulsions are down from 192 in 2000, to 137 last year.

“What we are seeing here is another part of students doing better in our schools, because we know they are staying longer and leaving with better qualifications.”

Figures on students who are changing school more than twice a year show a recent reduction, with 3,744 identified in 2013.

For more information, visit: http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/stand-downs-suspensions-exclusions-expulsions

ENDS

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