Throughout this guidance anything that is a legal obligation under is written as 'the principal must'. Where an action is a mandatory Departmental policy requirement, it is also written as ‘the principal must’. Where the guidance states that 'the principal should', this is a best practice recommendation.
Suspension is a serious disciplinary measure and is best reserved for incidents where other measures have not produced a satisfactory response.
Repeated or lengthy suspensions may not address the reasons for a student's behaviour and risk leading to poorer outcomes for a student's engagement in education, especially when suspension is used alone without supports and interventions that address the underlying reasons for the incident. The incidents may have occurred for a range of reasons including mental health concerns or circumstances at home, and the student may need additional help.
For a summary of key student wellbeing interventions and supports available to Victorian government schools, refer to the:
Reviewed 16 February 2024