Kepnock State High School principal Jenny Maier believes an increase in suspensions at her school came down to a low tolerance of bad behaviour.
Kepnock State High School principal Jenny Maier believes an increase in suspensions at her school came down to a low tolerance of bad behaviour. Scottie Simmonds

School suspensions jump by 50%

SCHOOLS in the Bundaberg region are cracking down on bad behaviour with the number of students being suspended jumping by almost 50% in just four years.

In 2006, there were 615 short suspensions in Bundaberg’s public high schools and four years later in 2010, that number jumped by almost 300, hitting 906.

Kepnock high had the highest number of suspensions of all the region’s high schools in 2010 with 314 short-term suspensions, which range from one to five days, and 62 long-term suspensions, which range from six to 20 days.

“We’re no longer putting up with bad behaviour,” principal Jenny Maier said.

“We have very high expectations about behaviour and unfortunately, some students get to the point where suspension is the only alternative.”

The school hardly seems to be trigger-happy when it comes to suspensions with alternatives first available.

“We pride ourselves on the fact that we offer a range of alternatives before we go down that path,” Ms Maier said.

“Suspension is a last resort – we don’t like to see students missing out on their education and every day counts.

“These figures tell us we are doing a very fine job.”

The high school disciplinary figures in Bundaberg reflect the entire North Coast region which reaches from Agnes Water to Caboolture and West to Kilcoy.

Of the seven Queensland Education regions, the North Coast had the highest number of short suspensions and enrolment cancellations, beating out the South East and Metropolitan regions.

North Coast Department of Education and Training regional director Greg Peach said the figures showed schools were taking a harder line against misbehaving students.

“I make no apologies for the North Coast Region’s state school principals taking strong disciplinary action against students who behave badly,” Mr Peach said.

“All students have a right to learn, and teachers a right to teach, in a safe and supportive school environment.”

The figures

In 2010:

Bundaberg North High had 114 short suspensions, 51 long suspensions, less than five expulsions and 22 cancellations.

Bundaberg High had 285 short suspensions, 48 long suspensions, seven expulsions and 20 cancellations.

Gin Gin High had 95 short suspensions, 15 long suspensions, no expulsions and less than five cancellations.

Kepnock High had 314 short suspensions, 62 long suspensions, seven expulsions and less than five cancellations.

Monto High had 19 short suspensions, no long suspensions, no expulsions and no cancellations.

Isis High had 79 short suspensions, 11 long suspensions, less than five expulsions and no cancellations.



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