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.

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What is suspension?

Suspension is when the school asks you to leave school for a short time (less than 10 days).

How long can you be suspended for?

You can be suspended for up to 2 weeks.

What can you be suspended for?

You can be suspended for behaviour which:

  • Shows you are not taking part in learning; or
  • Shows you don’t obey the rules about how you should behave; or
  • Is likely to badly affect the learning of other students ; or
  • Causes or is likely to cause damage; or
  • May cause harm to other students or staff; or
  • May give the school a bad reputation; or
  • Any other behaviour that the Principal decides is not appropriate taking into account the school’s discipline policy.

What process does the school have to follow if they want to suspend me?

The Principal must write a letter to your parents explain why you have been suspended, how long for, and asking that you, your parents and the school come for a meeting about the situation.

The aim of the meeting is for the school to explain their decision and say why your behaviour is unacceptable to them.  In the meeting you will also discuss a plan for coming back to school and how you should behave in the future.

What if you disagree with the suspension?

Unfortunately you can’t appeal a suspension and get it cancelled.   But if you think your school has treated you unfairly, followed the rules, you can make a complaint to the Department of Education.  Remember, this won’t cancel the suspension, but you will be able to let someone know about your situation.

What if you think you have been discriminated against?

Click here for more information about discrimination at school.

What will a suspension, exclusion, expulsion or prohibition mean for your future?

You can access any personal information held by the Department of Education about you, but this information is not available to the general public.

Get help and more information

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:

Finally, if you are finding that being out of school is very difficult and stressful and you are feeling a bit down you can call Kids Helpline or check them out here:

The Helpline is free and you don’t have to tell them who you are. You can also call them for free on 1800 55 1800.

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The law is different in each state and territory. Please select your state or territory to view legal information that applies to you.