Objective

Review reasons for suspending kids K-6 in NSW Government schools. Ensure we don’t have any of the nonsense reasons for suspensions that are regularly reported in the US.

There were 3,365 long suspensions (up to 20 days), and 12,038 short suspensions (up to 4 days) for Government K-6 students in 2012.

Outcome

K-6 suspension information is only collected at the level of categories. Detailed reasons reside with the relevant Principal, and the Department doesn’t collect them centrally.

Providing detailed reasons was also refused on privacy grounds, even though de-identified detailed reasons are publicly available for incidents reported to the Safety and Security Directorate (see document or sample link below).

Result: There is no way of determining if suspensions in NSW Government schools rely on ridiculous, ideological, discriminatory or gender-biased reasons. There is simply no public policy analysis possible. Who knows what lurks under Continued Disobedience or Persistent Misbehaviour?

Requests Responses Documents
Initial Informal 30/4/14
Follow Up Informal 4/6/14
Initial
Followup
2012 Suspension Summary Stats
NSW Suspension Stats Page
NSW Suspension & Expulsion Procedures
Sample De-identified Incident Report 2012
Detailed Incident Reports Term 4 2013 [23MB PDF]

Long Suspension Categories

V Physical violence
PM Persistent misbehaviour
CB Serious criminal behaviour related to the school
IS Possession or use of a suspected illegal
substance
PW Use or possession of a prohibited weapon,
firearm or knife
UW Use of an implement as a weapon or threatening
to use a weapon

 

Short Suspension Categories

CD Continued Disobedience
AG Aggressive Behaviour