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Effective student behaviour management - the board's role

Ko tā te poari tūnga whakahaere tōtika i te whanonga ākonga

The board exercises its responsibilities to ensure effective school-wide student behaviour management in the same way as for other areas of school governance. This is by way of its governance / policy framework through which it carries out its work around planning, resourcing, monitoring, reporting and consultation.

The management of individual student behaviour remains at the operational level within the school. The board's policies around managing student behaviour, including the use of physical restraint, set the legal framework and expectations for the school’s procedures, for which the principal is responsible.

The board is directly involved when the principal suspends a student, following which the board must hold a suspension meeting.

Keeping students in education

A board's main aim is to ensure every student at the school can reach their highest possible standard in educational achievement.

To do this, the board must make sure the school is a physically and emotionally safe place for all students and staff; and that it is inclusive of and caters for students with differing needs. The board's charter, strategic plan and policies are all part of making sure this happens in the school. 

View our Understanding Health and Safety page for more information about making sure the school is a physically and emotionally safe place for students and staff. 

What you need to know about the principles of natural justice

In the context of student behaviour management, legislation requires schools to follow the principles of natural justice – acting fairly in the circumstances. Being fair includes: treating people with respect; taking into account their knowledge, abilities and culture; ensuring that everyone knows what is happening and what is at stake; and following the rules and considering the purpose and principles behind them.


Why would a student be stood-down or suspended

A student may face stand-down or suspension if they show gross misconduct, continual disobedience or behaviour risking serious harm.


What are the principal's reporting obligations? 

The principal's regular reporting to the board includes information on incidents of student stand-down and physical restraint. The board considers the school's stand-down, suspension and exclusion data looking for patterns or trends. This enables the board to monitor what is happening in the school around student behaviour management and informs decisions about resourcing and policy review.


How the school environment can make a difference

The school’s culture can have a significant impact on student behaviour. The board needs to be assured that the school has robust procedures in place, that students are given all reasonable practicable guidance and counselling and that their parents are advised of any matters affecting their progress. 

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