This policy paper examines the impact of rising rates of school suspension on vulnerable children and young people.
Often, the students suspended from school are those who can least afford to be absent from the classroom. Indeed, certain groups of students, including children and young people in out-of-home care, Aboriginal students and children with disabilities are suspended at disproportionate rates.
Research indicates that school suspension is not effective because it doesn’t address the underlying issues which lead to disruptive behavior. Moreover, suspension intensifies academic difficulties, impairs employment prospects, places strains on family relationships and increases the risk of the student becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. The paper identifies four key areas where action is required to build learning environments that are inclusive of our most vulnerable children and young people and to turn around the high rates of school suspension.