A ‘breach of school discipline’ is any act or omission that impairs the good order and proper management of the school. The Principal of the school and staff are responsible for ensuring that students are safe and have a positive learning environment.
Whether you attend a government or non-government school, there will be procedures in place to address any breaches of school discipline. Students of non-government schools should consult their school handbook or the Principal to find out their school’s discipline procedure.
Breach of school discipline can be minor or serious.
Examples of minor breaches
Examples of serious breaches
Physical contact by a teacher
A member of staff may physically restrain a student if it is reasonable in order to:
A student at a government school cannot be disciplined by way of corporal punishment.
Withdrawal from classes
You are still required to attend school during this period.
You cannot be withdrawn from any class or classes for more than 5 school days.
You may be detained after school for a period of time, however, before you are detained, the Principal must contact your parent or responsible adult to ensure that an arrangement is in place for you to get home. You cannot be detained for more than 30 minutes unless your parent or responsible adult has been informed and there is an arrangement in place for you to get home.
You can be suspended from school wholly or partly for a period of up to 5 days for a minor breach or 10 days for a serious breach. During any period of suspension, you must still be provided with educational instruction so as to prevent you falling behind with your education.
You can also be suspended for 10 days for a serious breach which can be extended if the Principal is considering that exclusion from school is appropriate.
If you have been suspended for 10 days or more during the school year, the Principal must arrange a consultation with your parent or responsible adult (unless you are an Independent Minor or aged 18 or over) to discuss your behaviour and educational programmes, and to try to come to an arrangement where no further breaches of school discipline by you will occur.
N.B. This procedure is currently under review and the law may change.
You can be excluded from school if you have committed a breach of school discipline where:
If this occurs, then there are certain steps that must be followed before you can be excluded:
Your rights during the suspension/exclusion procedure
The decision makers must:
If you think you have been treated unfairly by this process, you can make a complaint to the State Ombudsman.
Please note: Laws are subject to change. Last updated November 2015.
Important: This general information is not the same as legal advice. You should speak with a lawyer about your situation. The information is based on a Western Australian context.