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21 August 2017

Public school suspensions down

New figures released by the Department of Education show the number of students suspended from public schools in 2016 has reduced.

A/Deputy Director General, Schools, Lindsay Hale said, while suspension figures had remained steady over recent years, the proportion of students suspended last year was 4.3 per cent – down from 4.6 per cent in 2015.

“There are almost 300,000 public school students in Western Australia and the vast majority of them – 96 per cent – do the right thing,” Mr Hale said.

“Schools are a reflection of the broader community, so from time to time, staff deal with a range of complex social issues.

“However, the number of students excluded and suspended fell last year which shows how successfully staff are managing student behaviour. 

“Help is always available for students who need support. There are a record number of school psychologists and 13 engagement centres that principals can access for expert assistance.

“We are all responsible for encouraging children and young people to behave well and come to school to learn. That’s why we urge parents and members of the community to support school staff in enforcing positive behaviour.”

The figures:

  • 12,598 students suspended in 2016 compared to 13,365 in 2015.
  • Majority of suspended students (55 per cent) suspended only once, the same as 2015.
  • Average length of each suspension in 2016 was 2.1 days compared to 2.3 days in 2015.
  • Most common reasons for suspension were physical aggression towards other students and violation of school code of conduct.
  • Eight exclusions in 2016 compared with 12 in 2016 and a substantial reduction since 2010, primarily due to school staff more effectively using early intervention and prevention. Exclusion means a student can no longer attend a particular school, and another school or education program is found for them. 

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