Schools need to ensure that all members of the school community are aware of the expectations for student behaviour. The following are approaches that schools might consider to ensure that this occurs:
Expectations of students could be made available, usually through a student diary, to all students and their families. Teachers and school staff should refer students to these expectations and ensure that they are clear as to their meaning.
Expectations and policies could also appear on the school intranet and/or the school website.
Reminders could be made in the school newsletter at pertinent times.
School assemblies and parent information nights are another way of informing the school community of the school’s expectations of student behaviour. Expectations for student behaviour should be reviewed regularly and the school community informed of any changes.
Schools should also have a list of pre-determined graded penalties which keep in mind procedural fairness. These could include:
withdrawal of privileges
Decisions made should not be biased, or seen to be biased, and the circumstances surrounding breaches of expectations should be considered. The interests of the individual and the school community should be considered when implementing a disciplinary policy.
Schools need to develop procedures for notifying the parents/guardians of breaches of expectations by students and the penalties imposed as a consequence. These could include:
notes in student diaries for detentions
interviews with families, and
written notification in the cases of serious penalties such as suspension and expulsion. Records of breaches of expectations and penalties imposed should be retained in individual student files.
What are the consequences if you don’t comply?
If the VRQA determines that a registered school does not comply with one or more of the minimum standards, it may:
impose conditions on the school’s registration
prohibit the school from enrolling any new students
require the school to report its non-compliance to parents
suspend, cancel or impose conditions on the school’s registration.