Discipline

STUDENT BEHAVIOUR IN TASMANIAN GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS

Did you know?

In Tasmanian Government schools student and staff wellbeing is a priority, with appropriate behaviour management helping students learn how to treat others and themselves with respect.

Schools should provide a safe and inclusive learning environment so all learners have the best opportunity to strive for excellence and reach their potential. Appropriate behaviour in Tasmanian Government schools is critical to creating a respectful environment that is conducive to learning and supports attainment for students.

The Department of Education has developed guidance for how students must behave at school to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students and staff.

Students are encouraged to demonstrate positive and respectful behaviour at school and when representing their school community.  Schools have a policy for encouraging supportive, respectful behaviour.

Student behaviour is the responsibility of the student and is shared with parents and the school.  Students are expected to be responsible for the way they act and talk.

What is unacceptable behaviour?

  • Each school has a policy that outlines expected behaviour and consequences for unacceptable behaviour at that school.
  • Examples of unacceptable behaviour include:
    • refusal to participate in the education program
    • disobedience of instructions which regulate the conduct of students
    • contravening school rules and policies (e.g. a student’s failure to comply with the school dress code where the Principal determines that the failure is taken to be unacceptable behaviour)
    • behaviour that is likely to impede significantly the learning of the other students of that school
    • behaviour that is detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the staff or other students of that school
    • behaviour or actions that cause, or are likely to cause, injury to persons or damage to property
    • behaviour that is likely to bring that school into disrepute
    • behaviour that is likely to put a person at risk of harm
    • harassment or stalking
    • threatening behaviour
    • discrimination
    • online harassment
    • bullying
    • illegal behaviour
    • unsociable behaviour (e.g. offensive language)
    • sexualised behaviour
    • occupational violence
    • any other behaviour that a principal determines to be unacceptable behaviour.

What are the legal consequences for unacceptable behaviour?

  • In managing unacceptable behaviour, a school will have in place a range of responses and strategies that first seek to address the underlying causes of the unacceptable behaviour of students and processes for escalating the management of that behaviour, including:
    • developing an understanding of why the student is displaying such behaviour and responding to the behaviour without reprimand (where possible)
    • removing the student from the classroom or activity
    • detention of the student
    • as a last resort, the suspension, exclusion or expulsion of the student.
  • Before resorting to disciplinary action, principals must proceed through a range of alternative measures to address the unacceptable behaviour.
  • However, in cases of an immediate health and safety risk to students, teachers or other persons, the principal can immediately suspend the student.
  • The Department has developed guidance for how these sanctions are applied.

What happens if your child’s behaviour is unacceptable?

  • Students who behave in an unacceptable way may receive a detention, be removed from regular classes, be suspended, excluded or expelled from a school, depending on the level and frequency of the behaviour. In the worst case, a student may be prohibited from attending any Government school in Tasmania.
  • Schools work with students to ensure that consequences for unacceptable behaviour are only used when necessary.
  • If a student is suspended from attending class or school, full-time or part-time, the principal is to arrange for, and ensure that the student is provided with, appropriate education during the period of suspension.
  • If your child is suspended from attending school it is your responsibility to look after them at home until the period of suspension finishes.

Where can I get more information?

  • You can discuss discipline decisions with your child’s teacher or principal if you think they have been made unfairly.
  • There is a Respectful Schools Support Team in each region, contact your nearest Learning Service.

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