The rules on suspensions and expulsions are different depending on whether you go to a public government school or a private school. This page only applies if you go to a public school in Tasmania. If you attend a private, independent or Catholic school please contact us here with your question.
Every Australian child has a right to education. This means your school cannot suspend or expel you without very good reasons and a clear process. It also means your school must act fairly if they are planning on suspending or expelling you from school. If you think you are being unfairly punished, you can appeal the decision.
Exclusion is when you are not allowed to come to school for at least 2 weeks and could be as long as a whole school term. Exclusion, like suspension, is supposed to be part of a plan to try and change your behaviour so that you don’t continue to cause problems at school.
The Principal does not have the authority to exclude you from school but the Principal can recommend to the Learning Services General Manager that you be excluded.
You can be excluded for the same things as suspension (see suspension section above), but your school can only try and exclude you if a suspension of two weeks isn’t enough to deal with the behaviour.
If your Principal decides that you should be excluded from school, the Principal must first suspend you for 2 weeks and follow the same procedures as if you were being suspended (see our section above on Suspensions). This means the school should send your parents a letter explaining why you have been suspended and why they plan on excluding you, and what you can do to appeal the decision.
Within 2 weeks after your suspension, the Department should send you a letter letting you know if you have been excluded or not. If you haven’t been excluded ,then you can go back to school at the end of your suspension.
The Department of Education will reasonable make plans for you to continue your education while you are excluded from school.
During the final week of your exclusion the Principal must organise an interview with you and your parents to discuss your return to school.
If you think that you have been wrongly excluded you can ask for the decision to be reviewed.
To do this you must fill in this form: https://www.education.tas.gov.au/documentcentre/Documents/Application-for-Review-or-Revocation-of-Exclusion.pdf
The Department of Education will let you, your parents and your Principal know the result of the review in writing within 5 school days of when they receive your application for review. You can also appeal against the exclusion process through the Ombudsman. If you want more information about this, please contact us here
If your Principal considers that your behaviour is so bad that exclusion from school for up to 1 term will not be enough, you may be expelled from your school forever. If you are expelled you no longer have the right to go to the school you have been expelled from.
You can be expelled for the same things as suspension (see suspension section above), but your school can only try and expel you if a suspension of two weeks isn’t enough to deal with the behaviour.
The Principal can recommend that you be expelled but does not have the authority to expel you from school. The person who decides whether you are expelled is the General Manager of Learning Services in the Department of Education. The way the process works is:
Once The General Manager of Learning Services has made a decision about whether or not to expel you, your parents must be told in a letter.
If you think you have been wrongly expelled you can ask for the decision to be reviewed or changed.
To apply for a review of the decision you or your parents must send a form to the Department of Education: https://www.education.tas.gov.au/documentcentre/Documents/Application-for-Review-or-Revocation-of-Expulsion.pdf
The Secretary will let you, your parents and your Principal know the result of the review in writing within 10 school days of when the Secretary receives your application for review.
You can also appeal against the expulsion process through the Ombudsman. If you would like more information about this option, please contact us here
Expulsion from one school doesn’t prevent your enrolment in another Tasmanian government school. You will be continued to be enrolled at your old school until a new school is found.
Click here for more information about discrimination at school.
You can access any personal information held by the Department of Education about you, but this information is not available to the general public.
If you have been suspended, excluded, expelled or prohibited from school you should get independent advice about your rights as soon as possible. You need to act quickly to ensure that you minimise as much as possible any disruption or break in your education.
You can also read the Department of Education’s processes and policies on suspension, exclusion, expulsion and prohibition here: https://www.education.tas.gov.au/documentcentre/Documents/Student-Behaviour-procedure.pdf
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