Suspension appeals

Suspension is an option available to principals in NSW public schools for managing unacceptable 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 a suspension if they believe:

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

Background: proper procedures for suspension

Principals should normally take a series of steps before suspending a student. These include:
  • discussing the misbehaviour with the student and parents or carers

  • putting measures in place to change the behaviour

  • putting a written caution, detailing the misbehaviour and explaining what the school expects from the student.

Other required steps can be found in the suspension and expulsion of school students procedure.

Automatic suspension

For some types of behaviour, however, the principal may suspend a student immediately.

Students can be automatically suspended if:

  • they are physically violent
  • in possession of a weapon
  • in poessession of an illegal drug
  • engage in criminal activity involving the school.

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 suspend 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 suspension. 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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