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Source: Ministry of Education

Stand downs and suspensions

Schools have a variety of methods available to deal with student behaviour, and stand downs and suspensions are just two of the choices available. Both are seen as a last resort when other options have proved unsuccessful, and only a small number of schools in any territorial authority stand down or suspend students in any one year.

From 2000 to 2004, the annual number of stand down cases in Tauranga District schools fluctuated between just over 400 and just over 500. In four of the five years, Tauranga’s stand down rate was lower than the national average. In 2004, the rate in Tauranga was 26 stand downs per 1,000 students compared with 28 per 1,000 nationally. Over the five-year period, the most common reasons for stand downs in Tauranga were continual disobedience, physical assault on other students and verbal assault on staff – the same as nationally.

The number of suspension cases is far lower than stand downs. From 2000 to 2004, the annual number of suspension cases in Tauranga District schools ranged from just over 120 in 2003 to just over 220 in 2000. In 2000, the district had a suspension rate almost double the national average (13 per 1,000 students compared with 7 per 1,000 nationally). That rate then dropped in subsequent years to equal the national average in 2003 and 2004. Continual disobedience was the main reason for suspension, followed by drugs and physical assault on other students. Nationally, drugs were the cause of the largest number of suspensions.

Exclusions and expulsions

Following a suspension, a school’s Board of Trustees can lift the suspension (with or without conditions), extend the suspension (with conditions), or terminate the student’s enrolment at the school. If the student is aged under 16, the board may decide to exclude him or her from the school, with the requirement that the student enrol elsewhere. If the student is aged 16 or over, the board may decide to expel him or her from the school, and the student may enrol at another school.

In the five years from 2000 to 2004, the annual number of exclusions from Tauranga schools ranged from 35 to 54. Continual disobedience was the main reason for students to be excluded, followed by drugs then physical assaults on other students or staff. Over those five years, the number of expulsions from Tauranga schools was very small (fewer than five in four of the years, and a total of five in 2003).

School leavers with no qualifications

Between 1995 and 2004, the proportion of Tauranga students leaving school without formal qualifications fluctuated above and below the national average. The greatest variance from the national average came in 2001, when 12% of Tauranga school leavers had no formal qualifications (compared with 17% nationally).

Early leaving exemptions

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