What do I do if my child is suspended?

All students deserve the right to feel safe and supported at school, and to access a high-quality education.

The suspension policy is currently under review.

Being suspended means a student is removed from school for a period of time, and normally only happens after a period of difficult behaviour or a significant behaviour incident After a suspension, your child will be welcomed back to school.

Parents, carers and community members are encouraged to play an active role in the education of their children. New South Wales public schools value the partnership of parents in helping to enrich learning opportunities for students.

Positive and open communication between home and school helps provide students with the best chance to succeed. It is important for parents and schools to work together so that expectations are consistent, and children are aware of appropriate and inappropriate behaviour and the relevant associated consequences.

Clear communication can ensure that parents are aware of what the school's behaviour expectations are, how to raise concerns with the school and how to work with schools to ensure the best outcome for their child.

Talk to your child about what has happened and explain the process of suspension to them. Let them know the suspension is about the behaviour and does not reflect on them as a person.

Being angry or yelling won’t change what has happened or help your child change their behaviour. Try to look at the situation from the perspective of “what do I want my child to learn here?” When you’re able to talk with your child in a calm, rational manner, there’s a greater chance you can find out what your child’s perception of the situation is — and possibly even problem-solve with them about what he/she can do differently in the future.

Work with the school to:

  • define the issue or behaviour of concern leading to the suspension
  • determine the cause, including your child’s motivation
  • give your child a voice in the process
  • seek support for your child from a school counsellor, student support officer or other specialist staff members if available
  • be involved in all relevant meetings related to the behaviours of concern/suspension to advocate for your child and partner with the school to consider solutions
  • support your child to continue to learn while they are on suspension. See the Learning from home section for strategies and tips for success.

If you do not think that the correct procedures have been followed and/or believe an unfair decision has been reached, you have the right to appeal a suspension. You will need to appeal the decision in writing.

If you need support to lodge an appeal, contact your local education office or ask your school principal for the contact details. An appeal is made to the Director, Educational Leadership for your child’s school.

Your child may be anxious about returning to school after a suspension. It is important that your child be back at school as early as possible to limit the impact on their learning. You can request a meeting if you feel your child needs additional support when returning to school.

In the meeting you can talk about:

  • schoolwork completed during the suspension
  • strategies needed to help your child’s educational, social and emotional needs in and out of school
  • responsibilities for you, your child, the school staff and other professionals to support these strategies.

Find out more about how to support your child to attend school in the attendance matters section of our website.

Here you will find information on how to foster positive attendance habits, compulsory school attendance and advice to parents and carers on learning from home.

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