Behaviour support and intervention meeting
A behaviour support and intervention meeting must be held when an expulsion is being considered. Expulsion should not be a pre-determined outcome of this meeting. Prior to convening a behaviour support and intervention meeting, the principal must have considered alternative supports and interventions for the student and conduct a thorough investigation in accordance with the departments expulsions policy
A behaviour support and intervention meeting provides an opportunity for the student and their parent/carer to meet with the principal and collaboratively discuss the student’s behaviour. The meeting must be conducted as informally as possible to encourage participation from all parties. A behaviour support and intervention meeting may be held remotely when a face-to-face meeting is not possible.
The purpose of the behaviour support and intervention meeting is to:
- advise the student and their parent/carer that the principal is considering whether to expel the student
- ensure all available supports and interventions in response to the behaviours of concern are considered for the student
- outline the grounds for expulsion that are being considered and the evidence to support a finding that the student has engaged in relevant conduct
- ensure that the student and their parent or carer have the opportunity to be heard
- consider the impact of the behaviour of the student on other affected parties
- identify the future educational, training and/or employment options most suited to the student’s needs and agree on a course of action in the event expulsion is decided.
Actions prior to the meeting
The principal must provide a student’s parent/carer with a copy of the Information for parents and carers about school expulsions and, if appropriate, provide the student with a copy of the Information for students about school expulsions .
The principal must contact the student and their parent/carer to inform them of the date, time and place for the meeting, taking reasonable steps to find a suitable time for all parties to meet.
The principal must also advise them:
- of the importance of both the student and their parent/carer attending the meeting
- that if the student's parent or carer is unable or unwilling to attend, they or the student may nominate another adult to attend
- of the matters to be discussed at the meeting, which will include the impact of the student’s behaviour on the affected parties
- that a support person of their choice who is not acting for fee or reward may accompany them
- that if the student and their parent/carer do not attend the behaviour support and intervention meeting, it may proceed without them and a decision may be made without the benefit of hearing from them.
The principal must seek the support of a regional approved support person to:
- attend the meeting, where appropriate
- ensure all available supports and interventions to support the behaviours of concern are considered for the student
- ensure that alternative disciplinary measures are considered for the student
- ensure that the appropriate education, training and/or employment options are considered for the student
- assist in implementing the course of action agreed to at the behaviour support and intervention meeting.
When communicating with the parent/carer and mature minors
If after reasonable attempts to accommodate a parent and carers’ needs fail, and a suitable time for all parties to meet cannot be found, it may be necessary to request that a person from the suitable person list be appointed to support the student through the process. In this case, the principal must ensure that the key points discussed at the meeting are recorded in writing and sent to the student and their parent/carer.
Students who are adults (18 years old or over) or who are considered to be a mature minor by the school for the purposes of expulsion issues, have the right to elect that their parent/carers not attend the meeting. The principal should strongly encourage these students to have a support person accompany them.
At the meeting
The Record of behaviour support and intervention meeting template includes guidance and an agenda to assist the principal in conducting the meeting.
During the meeting, the principal should:
- discuss grounds upon which an expulsion is being considered and present the evidence to support this
- provide the student, their parent/carer and independent support persons with an opportunity to be heard and to provide any further context to the behaviours
- identify the needs and goals of the student and family for the student’s future
- discuss potential options for a supported transition.
The principal also needs to consider:
- the impact of the student’s behaviour on other affected parties
- alternative disciplinary measures
- new interventions and supports that can be put in place to retain the student at school (expulsion is not a predetermined outcome of this meeting).
The principal must chair the meeting and arrange for a staff member to take minutes using the record of behaviour support and intervention meeting template. If the student and their parent or carer cannot attend the meeting, the principal must send them a copy of the meeting record.
If a parent reasonably believes the principal has not met the mandatory requirements of Ministerial Order 1125 or the expulsion policy, they may appeal the decision.
Meeting attendees and supports
The behaviour support and intervention meeting attendees should be an informal meeting and include:
- the student and their parent/carer
- the principal and relevant school and support staff
- a regional approved support person
- an interpreter (if required).
It is important that the student has a person to support and advocate for them throughout the process. Every effort must be made to ensure the student and their parent/carer attend the behaviour support and intervention meeting. If the student and their parent/carer do not attend the behaviour support and intervention meeting, it may proceed without them and a decision may be made without the benefit of hearing from them.
To support the student and their parent/carer, a relevant person, support person and interpreter can also attend the meeting if required.
In some circumstances, the student’s parent/carer may be unable or unwilling to participate in the expulsion process. In this case, the student or their parent/carer can nominate a relevant person to act on their behalf.
If a student or their parent or carer nominates someone to act as a relevant person, before the expulsion process can proceed the principal must:
- notify the adult of that nomination (a phone call or email is recommended)
- explain their duties and obligations and provide them with a copy of Information for parents and carers about school expulsions
- ensure that the student and parent/carer complete the Relevant person nomination form .
In these guidelines and procedures, the term parent or carer also reflects adults who are nominated to act as relevant person.
If the student or their parent or carer are unable to nominate a relevant person, a number of departmental staff have been trained as suitable persons who can act as the student’s relevant person for the purposes of expulsion.
To access a suitable person, the principal should submit a Request to appoint a person from the suitable person list form (staff login required) to the area executive director.
If the student is considered a mature minor, they may choose to nominate a trusted adult or an adult from the suitable person list as a relevant person using the same form.
A support person can be someone a family trusts, someone who respects the family’s culture, and chooses to be involved as a support throughout the expulsion process. A support person cannot act for a fee or reward. A support person should be provided with a copy of the Support person guide .
Students and families can access an independent support person from a community organisation and schools, where appropriate, should assist in identifying a culturally appropriate support person for the student. Key community organisations include:
- Koorie students: Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated , phone 03 9481 0800
- Disability Advocacy Resource Unit: 03 9639 5807 for students with disability who are identified as receiving substantial or extensive levels of adjustment in the NCCD
- Students in out-of-home care: LOOKOUT Education Support Centres:
- state-wide – email@example.com
- North-Eastern Region – firstname.lastname@example.org
- North-Western Region – email@example.com
- South-Eastern Region – firstname.lastname@example.org
- South-Western Region – email@example.com
The principal should organise an interpreter, including Auslan, if required. Refer to Interpreting and Translation Services.
Raising and escalating any concerns by the regional approved support person and regional engagement coordinator
If a regional approved support person or regional engagement coordinator reasonably believes that the principal has not met the mandatory requirements of Ministerial Order 1125 or the expulsion policy including during the BSIM, they must undertake the following process to ensure all alternative measures for the student are being fully explored:
- first discuss their concerns with the principal
- if they are unable to resolve their concerns with the principal, escalate their concerns to the senior education improvement leader and area executive director and then finally to the regional director if required
- regional staff will work with the school until all concerns have been addressed and ensure all appropriate supports are in place.
- all communication will be documented in writing to all relevant regional staff and recorded in STaR by the regional engagement coordinator.
Reviewed 24 October 2022