Expulsion appeals

Expulsion is an option available to principals in NSW public schools for managing serious misbehaviour. You or your child may appeal the decision.

The Student Discipline policy and subsequent Suspension procedures are currently under review.

When can I appeal?

Students and parents or carers may appeal an expulsion if they believe:

  • correct procedures were not followed, and/or
  • the decision was unfair.

Background: proper procedures for expulsion

The principal may expel a student for the following reasons:

  1. For a student of any age, due to circumstances of serious misbehaviour.

  2. For a student aged 17 years or over, for unsatisfactory participation in learning.

In doing so they must ensure procedural fairness is observed – in other words, that the rules are applied fairly and transparently.

Learn more about the proper procedures for each by clicking on the menus below:

When considering expulsion for misbehaviour, principals are also required to:

  • Ensure learning and support strategies are in place.
  • Convene a formal interview with the student.
  • Ensure the student is given information about the allegation and the opportunity to respond.
  • Place the student on a long suspension (no more than 20 days).
  • Notify the student and parents, in writing, that expulsion from the school is being considered, giving reasons.
  • Consider a school counsellor’s report.
  • Provide parents with a copy of all documentation.
  • Allow seven school days for students and parents to respond.
  • Consider any response from the student and parents before proceeding.
  • Discuss with the student and parents the implications of expulsion and provide information about appealing the decision. This could be done by telephone or in a meeting.

Expulsion for unsatisfactory participation in learning is when a student has failed to apply themselves with diligence and sustained effort. The lack of application affects order and the learning of other students.

In this situation, the principal must:

  • Give at least one formal written warning that expulsion is being considered.
  • Develop a program of improvement to help the student. The student must also be provided with a reasonable period to improve.
  • Notify the student and the parents, in writing, that expulsion from the school is being considered, giving reasons for the possible action. There is no necessity to place the student on long suspension.
  • Consider a report from the learning support team or school counsellor
  • Provide the parents with a copy of all documentation.
  • Allow seven school days for you or your child to respond.
  • Consider any response from the your or your child before proceeding.
  • If the decision is to expel your child, the principal will inform you and your child in writing. This formal advice should also restate the right to appeal the decision.

Starting your appeal

Appeals should be in writing and clearly state the grounds on which they are being made.

A form must also be completed and submitted with the appeal. It can be found in Appendix 4 in Suspension and expulsion of school student procedures.

Who to send your appeal to

Appeals area sent to the Director, Public Schools NSW, not the principal.

The Director may ask another NSW Department of Education officer to help manage the appeal but the Director will normally be responsible for the final decision.

Sometimes, when the Director, Public Schools NSW has been closely involved in a decision to expel a student, there might be good reason for someone else to judge any appeal.

In those situations, responsibility for handingly the appeal will fall to the Executive Director, Public Schools NSW.

The Executive Director, Public Schools NSW may also ask another Director to manage it.

Appeal outcome

An appeal does not immediately change the status of any expulsion. That decides on the ultimate outcome of the appeals process.

Once your appeal has been lodged correctly, the Director, Public Schools NSW or the Executive Director, Public Schools NSW will:
  • deal with the appeal within 20 school days of its lodgement
  • ensure communication lines are open so parents and carers are aware of any progress
  • discuss key issues with the person making the appeal
  • advice all parties of the decision and the reasons for reaching it
  • where an appeal is upheld, the person determining the appeal will decide what further action is to be taken.
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