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Suspensions

Identifying a support person (relevant person)

Suspension and expulsion are serious disciplinary measures and it is important that the student has a person to support and advocate for them throughout the suspension or expulsion process. The ministerial order on suspensions and expulsions and this guidance refer to such persons as “relevant persons”.  

Who can be a relevant person?

Students under 18 years of age

For a student is who is under 18 years of age and is not considered a ‘mature minor’, the relevant person may be one of the following:

  • parent
  • adult nominated by the parent in accordance with the procedures outlined in the ministerial order and this guidance
  • adult appointed from the suitable persons list in accordance with the procedures outlined in Ministerial Order 1125 and this guidance

Students in out-of-home-care

For a student who is in out-of-home-care, the relevant person may be one of the following persons:

  • parent
  • adult who is residing with, and providing care to, the student in the out-of-home care arrangement
  • adult appointed from the suitable persons list in accordance with the procedures outlined in the ministerial order and this guidance

Students considered as a mature minor

For a student who is considered a mature minor, the relevant person may be one of the following persons:

  • adult nominated by the student in accordance with the procedures outlined in the ministerial order and this guidance
  • adult appointed from the suitable persons list in accordance with the procedures outlined in the ministerial order and this guidance

For further advice on determining whether a student a mature minor, see Mature Minor and Decision Making.

Students 18 years or older

A student who is 18 years of age or older is considered an adult and can participate in the suspension or expulsion process without a relevant person present. However, such students should be encouraged to:

  • identify an adult — such as a parent or relative, who can support them during the process
  • request that an adult be appointed from the suitable persons list in accordance with the procedures outlined in the ministerial order and this guidance

Separated parents

In circumstances where there is more than one parent or carer who would like to participate in the suspension and expulsion process, it is important to involve all of them in the process — except where doing so would not be in the student’s best interests, or is not consistent with an intervention order.

If the principal of a Victorian government school needs advice and assistance on how to proceed with the suspension or expulsion in these circumstances, it is strongly recommended that they contact the Department's Legal Division on (03) 9637 3146 or email legal.services@education.vic.gov.au

Chapter in the Suspension Guidelines and Procedures on identifying the relevant person to support a student during a suspension or expulsion process

Reviewed 26 November 2020

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