What do I need to know if my child gets a formal caution?

The following information is available in 35 languages on this page: Formal caution to suspend factsheet.

What is a formal caution for a behaviour of concern?

A behaviour of concern is something someone does that might cause or has caused harm or danger to themselves or others. A formal caution tells a student that their behaviour caused or may cause harm or danger to themselves and other people or poses an unacceptable risk to teaching and learning. It is designed to let you and your child know that their behaviour needs to improve.

A formal caution is a letter in which your child’s behaviour of concern has been recorded. Your child will not be suspended at this time.

What happens if my child gets a formal caution?

The school will discuss the behaviour of concern and explain the formal caution to your child. The principal will also provide you a written copy of the formal caution.

The purpose of the formal caution is to give you and your child time to understand the impact of their behaviour and agree on a support plan. The school will give you and your child the chance to meet with them to discuss the behaviour and to plan or review the supports your child needs.

You can bring a support person with you for any meetings with the school.

The formal caution is in place for up to 50 school days. During this time, your child may be suspended if the behaviour happens again or for other behaviours of concern..

What do I do if my child gets a formal caution?

Nearly every child will sometimes do things that do not follow school rules or the Behaviour Code for Students. Sometimes, when this occurs, a formal caution will be given. More information on what to do if your child is getting into trouble at school is available.

If your child receives a formal caution, this means that there is a behaviour that needs attention. Your engagement with the school is very important in managing your child’s behaviour and developing solutions together to support your child’s learning and behaviour. Talk to the school principal about the formal caution and work with the team supporting your child to come up with some solutions.

What if the behaviour happens again?

If the behaviour of concern happens again, the principal may decide to suspend your child. The decision to suspend your child will happen only after the principal looks at the behaviour, and the individual needs of your child and other children. Information on suspending a student is available.

What do I do if I still have any concerns?

If you have concerns about your child’s learning, behaviour or wellbeing at school, the best place to start is talking to the teacher, assistant principal or deputy principal. Most issues can be solved by talking to the people who know your child and the situation.

Sometimes you may need to talk to someone else. Your school can give you the contact information for your local education office who may be able to help. Also think about talking to your child’s doctor if you think there could be medical reasons for your concerns.

More information on advocating for your child is available, as well as our School Community Charter that outlines ways to communicate with schools.

What information can I get from the school?

You can ask the school for more information about what has happened and why. The school should explain to you the reasoning behind any decisions, what actions will happen and what to do if you have an issue.

Telephone interpreter service

If you wish to contact the school and need assistance with English please call the telephone interpreter service on 131 450, tell them what language you need and ask the operator to phone the school. The operator will get an interpreter on the line to assist you with your conversation. You will not be charged for this service.


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