Stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions from school

What We Have Found

In 2018 age-standardised suspension, exclusion and expulsion rates decreased; whilst stand-down rates increased.

Schools continue to stand-down, suspend, and exclude more Māori students than any other ethnic group. Male students are more than twice as likely to be stood down, suspended or excluded, and they are more than three times more likely to be expelled than their female peers. Fourteen year olds continue to have the highest rates of stand downs and suspensions.

Date Updated: June 2019

Indicator Description

Stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions are measures of a school’s reaction to challenging behaviour. While one school may opt to suspend a student over a particular incident, another school may not. The number of these incidents should not be used as a proxy measure for student behaviour.

This indicator uses age-standardised rates. These are expressed as the number of stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions per 1,000 students enrolled. (Most stand-downs, suspensions and exclusions occur between the ages of 13-15). Age-standardisation allows a fair comparison between different cohorts. In any given year the schooling population will have a different age distribution. By standardising for age we can compare across years.

Expulsions occur only for 16 year-olds and above, therefore the expulsion rate refers to the number of expulsions per 1,000 students enrolled, standardised for students aged 16 or over, in this way due to the low numbers of expulsions the trends in age standardised rates are subject to greater variation. Likewise, exclusions only occur for students aged 15 and under, therefore the exclusion rate refers to number of exclusions per 1,000 students enrolled, standardised for students aged 15 or under. All mention of schools in this indicator refers to state and state integrated schools only.

Stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions are measures of a schools response to particular behaviours. What one school may choose to suspend for, another may not.

Why This Is Important

Student attendance and engagement are critical factors relating to student achievement. The levels of stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions help provide indications of where engagement in productive learning may be absent and behavioural issues may be present.

A state or state integrated school principal may consider the formal removal of a student through a stand-down from school for a period of up to 5 school days. A student can be stood-down, for a maximum of 5 school days in a term, or 10 days in a school year.
Students return automatically to school following a stand-down.

While stand-downs impact on a student’s actual opportunity to learn they are also a response to a wide range of concerning behaviours including drug and alcohol abuse and violence that could disrupt the learning of the individual concerned and could be disruptive or unsafe for peers and adults in the school community. Stand-downs offer an opportunity to reduce tension and reflect on the action which led to the stand-down. As such, if used in appropriate circumstances, a stand-down can be a positive mechanism for preventing escalation. However, its use should be part of a proactive approach to address behaviour issues and should be kept to a minimum due to the disruption to student’s learning which is inherent in the mechanism.

A suspension is a formal removal of a student from a school until a school Board of Trustees decides the outcome at a suspension meeting. Following a suspension, the Board of Trustees decides how to address the student’s misbehaviour. The Board can either lift the suspension (with or without conditions), extend the suspension (with conditions), or terminate the student's enrolment at the school.

Exclusions and expulsions are consequences of a suspension where an enrolment is terminated following a suspension meeting. If the student is aged under 16, the Board may decide to exclude the student from the school, with the requirement that the student enrols elsewhere. This decision should be arrived at in only the most serious cases. If the student is aged 16 or over, the board may decide to expel them from the school, and the student may or may not enrol at another school. Again, this decision should be arrived at only in the most serious cases. Excluded or expelled students may face difficulties in enrolling in other schools. This may result in students:

  • accessing correspondence schooling through Te Aho o te Kura Pounamu,
  • entering Alternative Education provision (for excluded students),
  • dropping out of the education system,
  • entering tertiary study or employment.

In 2018 46% of suspensions were lifted by Boards of Trustees. Although only 4% were lifted without conditions (the other 42% were lifted with conditions). In 16% of cases the suspension was extended. Some cases were progressed to exclusion or expulsions; 33% of suspension cases resulted in the exclusion of a student and 4% of cases resulted in a student being expelled.

Research emphasises the importance of proactive partnerships with parents and a strategy focused on both achievement and behaviour. Approaches that are focused only on disciplinary or pastoral responses have been found to be ineffective for positive outcomes. Positive Behaviour for Learning, launched in 2009, is a major shift in the management of disruptive behaviour in the education system. It provides proactive support for parents, teachers and schools that benefit everyone. The result is better learning environments for all learners and staff, improved teacher ability to support children’s behaviour and emotional needs, improved engagement in learning, a lift in achievement for learners and an increase in teacher confidence and satisfaction.

How We Are Going

A stand-down is when a principal removes a students from school for a period of up to 5 days. Stand-downs offer the chance for the student to reflect on the action which lead to the stand-down and to reduce tension in the situation.

The age-standardised stand-down rate increased from 24.4 stand-downs per 1,000 in 2000 to 30.3 stand-downs per 1,000 in 2006. After 2006, the stand-down rate per 1,000 decreased each year to a low of 19.4 stand downs per 1000 in 2015. Since 2015 the stand-downs per 1000 has begun increasing again to 23.7 per 1000 in 2017. In 2018 the stand downs per 1,000 has increased further again to 25.5 per 1,000 students.

In 2018 there were 19,414 stand down cases, received by 14,247 students. This equates to just under 2% of the student population. Of these cases 76% were stood down only once during 2018. In 2018, 52% of stand-downs took place in secondary schools. Only 8% of secondary schools did not use stand-downs compared to 50% of primary schools, these findings are consistent with previous years.

Figure 1: Age-standardised stand-down rates (2000 to 2018)

Ethnic Group

In 2018, Māori students continued to be stood down at a greater rate than any other ethnic group.

The age-standardised stand-down rate for Māori students was 44.3 per 1000 students; this is two times higher than European/Pākehā students (20.9 stand-downs per 1000 students). Asian students continue to have the lowest stand down rate at 5.4 per 1000 students.

The stand down rate for Pacific students decreased in 2018 to 28.2 per 1000 students, from 29.2 per 1000 in 2017.  Although stand down rates for Māori, European and Asian students increased in 2018. With Māori students having the sharpest increase.

Figure 2: Age-standardised stand-down rates by ethnic group (2000 to 2018)

Decile

There is a clear correlation between schools socio-economic mix and age-standardised stand-down rates. Schools in the lowest quintile (deciles 1 and 2) draw their students from communities with the highest degree of socio-economic disadvantage. Students in quintile 1 schools are over three times more likely to be stood down than students in both quintile 5 schools (decile 9 and 10) and quintile 4 schools (decile 8 and 7).

Proportionally, more Māori and Pacific students attend schools in the lower quintiles than schools in the higher quintiles.

Age-standardised stand-down rates were highest for Māori, except in quintile 1 schools where European/Pākehā students had the highest rate. Māori had the second highest rate in this quintile.

Figure 3: Age-standardised stand-down rates by ethnic group and school quintile (2018)

Gender

In 2018 male students continued to have consistently higher stand down rates than female students. This pattern is consistent across ethnic groups. The national average for male students was nearly three times higher than for female students. Male students had an age standardised rate of 37.0 per 1,000 students whereas the rate for female students was 13.5 per 1,000 students.

Asian students had the largest difference between the genders, with Male students (8.8 stand downs per 1,000) over five times more likely to be stood down than female students (1.7 stand downs per 1,000). Māori students conversely had the smallest difference between genders with male students (59.8 stand downs per 1,000) being twice as likely to be stood down than Māori female students (28.2 stand downs per 1,000).

Figure 4: Age-standardised stand-down rates, by gender and ethnic group (2018)

Behavioural Reasons

In 2018 physical assault on other students continued to be the main reason for stand downs; it accounted for 32% of all stand downs and represents 8.3 stand downs per 1,000 students. This is followed by continual disobedience, which accounted for 19% of stand downs, at a rate of 4.9 stand-downs per 1,000 students. Along with physical assaults on staff (1.5 stand downs per 1,000) and verbal assaults on staff (2.4 stand downs per 1,000) these four behaviours make up two thirds of reasons for stand downs in 2018.

Rates for almost all behavioural reasons for stand-downs have increased since 2017. This is in line with the increase in the national rate of stand-downs. This is aside from theft or vandalism (1.3 stand downs per 1,000) which decreased in 2018 by 0.3 stand downs per 1,000 or just under 2%, the age standardised rates for stand-downs increased in 2018. The largest change from 2017 to 2018 was in physical assault on other students which increased 1.1 stand downs per 1,000 or 2%.

Table Figure 5: Age-standardised rate per 1,000 students of stand-downs by behaviour (2000-2018)

Standdown Rates

Year

Continual Disobedience

Smoking or Alcohol

Theft Vandalism or Arson

Drugs (Including Substance Abuse)

Physical Assault on Other Students

Verbal Assault on Other Students

Physical Assault on Staff

Verbal Assault on Staff

Other

Total

Note:

"Other" behaviours includes sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, weapons and other harmful and dangerous behaviours.
Schools make the decision on which behavioural category an incident is classified within.

2000

6.05

2.49

2

1.22

5.61

0.57

0.52

3.92

2.04

24.41

2001

6.19

2.39

1.85

1.34

5.79

0.56

0.49

3.85

1.98

24.44

2002

6.47

2.33

1.8

1.51

5.58

0.55

0.55

4.01

2.22

25.01

2003

6.72

2.05

2.15

1.28

6.39

0.67

0.61

4.69

2.51

27.07

2004

6.92

2.02

2.11

1.32

6.84

0.66

0.58

4.3

2.7

27.46

2005

7.62

2.05

2.03

1.71

7.28

0.65

0.75

4.48

2.81

29.39

2006

7.92

2.28

2.32

1.33

7.39

0.64

0.8

4.56

3.03

30.27

2007

7.23

2.19

2.27

1.37

7.15

0.64

0.79

3.98

2.67

28.3

2008

6.89

1.92

2.09

1.6

7.06

0.54

0.76

4.09

2.51

27.45

2009

6.38

1.78

2.2

1.93

7.02

0.57

0.76

3.99

2.69

27.32

2010

5.74

1.73

2.18

2.11

6.83

0.68

0.75

3.78

2.6

26.4

2011

5.27

1.43

1.85

1.82

6.11

0.6

0.65

3.59

2.71

24.03

2012

5.22

1.45

1.77

1.63

5.97

0.61

0.66

3.12

2.53

22.97

2013

4.87

1.12

1.48

1.72

5.57

0.56

0.7

2.75

2.62

21.38

2014

4.57

0.96

1.43

1.61

4.92

0.5

0.75

2.52

2.61

19.86

2015

4.32

0.88

1.37

1.49

4.93

0.52

0.83

2.24

2.8

19.39

2016

4.43

0.9

1.36

1.35

5.85

0.53

1.07

2.2

3.09

20.78

2017

4.85

1.34

1.62

1.35

7.2

0.64

1.22

2.09

3.34

23.65

2018

4.85

1.44

1.3

↑ 1.42

8.25

0.76

1.5

2.35

3.65

25.51           

Age

Students between the ages of twelve and fifteen represent 54% of all stand downs. With fourteen year olds having the largest number of stand downs at 62.9 in 2018. This is compared to 5 year olds with the lowest number of stand downs at 5.2 per 1,000 students.

This substantial variation is why analysis is undertaken using age-standardised rates for the majority of the indicator. Year to year the spread of ages in the school system can shift, and age-standardising makes the data comparable over time.

Figure 6: Stand-down rates, by age (2018)

* Labels on the bars show the odds of a student being stood down. For example, a 14 year old student is 2.5 times as likely to be stood down as an average student across all age groups.

How We Are Going

A suspension is a formal removal of the student from school until a Board of Trustees decide the outcome at a suspension meeting. The board can either lift the suspension, with or without conditions, extend the suspension, or terminate the enrolment of the student following the meeting.

Since 2000 the age standardised suspension rate has generally decreased. Since 2000 the rate has decreased by 45% from 7.4 suspensions per 1,000 in the year 2000, to 4.0 suspensions per 1,000 in 2018, this decrease has continued in 2018 with the rate of suspension down 3% since 2017.

In 2018 there were 3,065 suspension cases, received by 2,747 unique students. This represents 0.4% of the total student population. Of the students that were suspended 89.3% were suspended only once during 2018. In 2018, 21% of all secondary schools did not use suspensions as a part of a behaviour management programme, compared to 81% of all primary schools.

Figure 7: Age-standardised suspension rates (2000 to 2018)

Ethnic Group

Across all ethnic groups the age standardised rate of suspensions decreased. The greatest reduction was for Māori students where the rate decreased by 4% since 2017 to 7.9 suspensions per 1,000 students.

Yet, Māori students continue to be suspended at a higher rate than any other ethnic group. Māori students are more than twice as likely to be suspended as European/Pākehā students (3.0 per 1,000 students) and nearly two times more likely to be suspended than the age standardised national rate of suspensions (4.0 per 1,000 students). The age standardised rate of suspensions continues to be the lowest for Asian students at 0.5 suspensions per 1,000 students.

Figure 8: Age-standardised suspension rates by ethnic group (2000 to 2018)

Decile

Students who attend quintile 1 schools (deciles 1 and 2 schools) are 5 times more likely to be suspended than students at quintile 5 schools (deciles 10 and 9).Students at quintile 1 schools have an age standardised rate of suspension of 7.9 per 1,000 students. With students at quintile 5 schools having an age standardised rate of suspension of 1.6 per 1,000 students.

Māori students had the highest age standardised rates of suspension across all quintiles. At quintile 1 schools rates were highest for Māori students (10.8 per 1,000) with European/Pākehā (10.1 per 1,000) students closely following this. This has changed since 2017 where European/Pākehā students used to have the highest rate of suspension in quintile 1 schools. Asian students consistently have the lowest age standardised rate of suspension across the quintiles.

Figure 9: Age-standardised suspension rates by ethnic group and school quintile (2018)

Gender

In 2018 male students continue to have a higher rate of suspension than female students. With males having an age standardised suspension rate of 5.7 per 1,000 compared to females with 2.3 per 1,000 students.

A clear gender disparity can be seen across all ethnic groups. The greatest difference between across the ethnic groups between genders is between Asian students where male students (0.9 per 1,000) are five times more likely to be suspended than female students (0.2 per 1,000).

Figure 10: Age-standardised suspension rates, by gender and ethnic group (2018)

Behavioural Reasons

Physical assault on other students was the primary reason for suspensions (25%) in 2018, with 1.0 suspensions per 1000 students. This is followed by continual disobedience which represents 22% of suspensions and has an age standardised rate of 0.9 suspensions per 1,000 students. The third most common reason was drugs (including substance abuse) which accounted for 17% of suspensions (0.7 per 1,000 students).

Rates stayed the same across the reasons with only minor changes of 0.1 per 1,000 across the behavioural reasons.

Table Figure 11: Age-standardised rate per 1,000 students of suspensions, by behaviour (2000-2018)

Suspension Rates

Year

Continual Disobedience

Smoking or Alcohol

Theft Vandalism or Arson

Drugs (Including Substance Abuse)

Physical Assault on Other Students

Verbal Assault on Other Students

Physical Assault on Staff

Verbal Assault on Staff

Other

Total

Note:

“Other” behaviours includes sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, weapons and other harmful and dangerous behaviours. Schools make the decision on which behavioural category an incident is classified within.

2000

1.76

0.35

0.62

2.25

1.16

0.1

0.19

0.43

0.56

7.42

2001

1.62

0.35

0.56

2.23

0.98

0.08

0.21

0.35

0.49

6.89

2002

1.71

0.29

0.51

2.05

1.06

0.08

0.2

0.39

0.58

6.88

2003

1.57

0.3

0.61

1.78

0.98

0.05

0.25

0.45

0.65

6.63

2004

1.62

0.25

0.5

1.63

1.13

0.08

0.21

0.37

0.56

6.36

2005

1.75

0.22

0.5

1.74

1.25

0.05

0.26

0.38

0.64

6.8

2006

1.8

0.33

0.57

1.33

1.22

0.09

0.28

0.33

0.66

6.61

2007

1.7

0.28

0.46

1.25

1.18

0.05

0.3

0.32

0.68

6.23

2008

1.74

0.21

0.44

1.09

1.15

0.04

0.29

0.28

0.62

5.86

2009

1.92

0.19

0.45

1.43

1.08

0.07

0.26

0.3

0.63

6.34

2010

1.34

0.19

0.41

1.5

0.97

0.06

0.25

0.26

0.64

5.63

2011

1.3

0.11

0.39

1.14

0.95

0.07

0.23

0.26

0.6

5.03

2012

1.13

0.11

0.35

1.07

0.8

0.05

0.22

0.23

0.57

4.54

2013

1.06

0.12

0.26

1.08

0.73

0.05

0.17

0.21

0.51

4.18

2014

0.95

0.08

0.2

0.87

0.55

0.06

0.22

0.2

0.53

3.65

2015

0.85

0.09

0.25

0.73

0.6

0.05

0.2

0.17

0.58

3.54

2016

0.86

0.08

0.21

0.69

0.71

0.04

0.2

0.19

0.65

3.63

2017

0.98

0.13

0.22

0.76

0.92

0.06

0.27

0.17

0.67

4.17

2018

0.87

0.11

0.19

0.69

1.01

0.07

0.29

0.17

0.64

4.03

Age

Similar to stand downs the majority of suspensions occurred for students aged 13 to 15, accounting for 56% of all suspensions. 14 year olds had the highest rates of suspension and showed (12.7 suspensions per 1,000 in 2018) an increase from the 2017 rate.

Figure 12: Suspension rates by Age (2018)

How We Are Going

An exclusion follows the termination of a student’s enrolment at a suspension meeting. Exclusions are given to students under the age of sixteen, with the requirement that the student enrols elsewhere.

Since 2009 the exclusion rate has overall decreased from 2.3 exclusions per 1,000 students in the year 2009 to 1.5 exclusions per 1,000 in 2018. This equates to a 33% reduction in the age standardised rate of exclusions over the period of 2009 to 2018. The rate increased from 2016 to 2017 but has dropped again to 1.5 per 1,000 in 2018, although this is still higher than the 2016 rate.

There were  1,016 exclusion cases in 2018, which were received by 1,001 different students. This equates to 0.2% of the total student population under 16 years old receiving exclusions. Of those students excluded during 2017, 99% were excluded only once.

Figure 13: Age-standardised exclusion rates (2000 to 2018)

Ethnic Group

Since 2017, age standardised rates of exclusion have decreased slightly across all ethnic groups for all with the exception of European/Pākehā students where the rate has remained at 1.2 per 1,000 students.

The largest change is Māori students which had the largest decrease observed since 2017(2.9 per 1,000 students a decrease of 0.2 exclusions per 1,000 students), it returned to just below the rates seen in 2016 and is the second lowest rate in 18 years.

Yet, Māori students (2.9 per 1,000) continue to be excluded at a greater rate than the other ethnic groups. They are two and a half times more likely to be excluded than European students (1.1 per 1,000) and nearly twice more likely to be excluded than the national age standardised rate of exclusion (1.5 per 1,000). Asian students continue to have the lowest age standardised rate of exclusion at 0.1 per 1,000.

Figure 14: Age-standardised exclusion rates by ethnic group (2000 to 2018)

Decile

There is a clear correlation between school socio-economic mix and exclusion rates. Students from the lowest quintile schools (deciles 1 and 2) are just under five times more likely to be excluded than students in the highest quintile (deciles 9 and 10) and 3 times as likely to be excluded as students in quintile 4 (deciles 7 and 8).

European students have the highest age standardised rate of exclusion in decile 1 schools at 3.9 per 1,000. This is followed by Māori students at 3.4 per 1,000 in quintile 1. Māori students have the highest rate of exclusion in quintiles 2, 3, 4, and 5. In quintiles 2, 3, and 4 Pacific students have the second highest rates of exclusion.

Figure 15: Age-standardised exclusion rates by ethnic group and school quintile (2018)

Gender

Schools consistently exclude male student’s more than female students. With an age standardised national rate of 2.2 per 1,000 for males and 0.9 per 1,000 for females. This gender difference is consistent across all ethnic groups. The smallest difference between genders is between Māori students where male students (3.7 exclusions per 1,000) are 1.7 times more likely to be excluded than female students (2.1 exclusions per 1,000).

Figure 16: Age-standardised exclusion rates, by gender and ethnic group (2018)

Behavioural Reasons

Continual disobedience continued to be the primary reasons for exclusions, in 2018. Continual disobedience accounted for 29% of all exclusions (0.5 per 1,000 students). This was followed by physical assaults on other students which accounted for 25% of all exclusions (0.38 per 1,000 students). Drugs (including substance abuse) at 9.1% (0.1 per 1000) and Physical assault on staff at 8% (0.1 per 1,000) were the next largest reasons for exclusion.

In general rates of exclusion by reason remained similar to 2017 rates. An increase was seen for physical assault on other students which rose by 5% since 2017 and continual disobedience which decreased by 3%.

Table Figure 17: Age-standardised rate per 1,000 students of exclusions, by behaviour (2000-2018)

Exclusion Rates

Year

Continual Disobedience

Smoking or Alcohol

Theft Vandalism or Arson

Drugs (Including Substance Abuse)

Physical Assault on Other Students

Verbal Assault on Other Students

Physical Assault on Staff

Verbal Assault on Staff

Other

Total

Note:

“Other” behaviours includes sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, weapons and other harmful and dangerous behaviours. Schools make the decision on which behavioural category an incident is classified within.

2000

0.82

0.06

0.19

0.61

0.43

0.03

0.07

0.14

0.18

2.54

2001

0.7

0.04

0.17

0.52

0.35

0.02

0.08

0.1

0.15

2.13

2002

0.77

0.04

0.16

0.49

0.39

0.02

0.09

0.17

0.2

2.34

2003

0.75

0.05

0.21

0.49

0.33

0.02

0.11

0.13

0.22

2.3

2004

0.76

0.04

0.15

0.39

0.43

0.02

0.09

0.13

0.18

2.2

2005

0.87

0.04

0.15

0.46

0.43

0.03

0.13

0.12

0.22

2.45

2006

0.91

0.04

0.19

0.32

0.41

0.02

0.13

0.14

0.2

2.36

2007

0.82

0.04

0.17

0.31

0.41

0.02

0.12

0.09

0.24

2.23

2008

0.84

0.03

0.14

0.26

0.4

0.02

0.13

0.1

0.19

2.1

2009

0.95

0.04

0.15

0.33

0.4

0.03

0.1

0.12

0.2

2.31

2010

0.67

0.03

0.17

0.45

0.35

0.01

0.14

0.13

0.24

2.18

2011

0.68

0.02

0.18

0.31

0.35

0.03

0.1

0.13

0.24

2.04

2012

0.59

0.02

0.13

0.3

0.29

0.02

0.12

0.08

0.2

1.74

2013

0.58

0.02

0.1

0.29

0.28

0.02

0.08

0.08

0.22

1.67

2014

0.52

0.01

0.05

0.23

0.23

0.01

0.1

0.07

0.21

1.43

2015

0.47

0.01

0.08

0.19

0.24

0.02

0.1

0.08

0.19

1.38

2016

0.42

0.02

0.08

0.16

0.27

0.03

0.1

0.1

0.26

1.42

2017

0.52

0.01

0.07

0.18

0.32

0.02

0.13

0.06

0.29

1.61

2018

0.45

0.02

0.07

0.14

0.38

0.03

0.13

0.07

0.27

1.54

How We Are Going

An expulsion follows the termination of a student’s enrolment at a suspension meeting. Expulsions can only be received by students aged 16 and over, as once a student turns 16, there is no requirement that they stay in the schooling system, so students can decide to enrol at a different school or finish school.  In 2018 there were 118 expulsion cases received by 118 students or, 0.1% of students aged 16 and over.

Age-standardisation for expulsions only standardises against those in the population who can be expelled i.e. students aged 16 and over. The national rate of expulsion in 2018 was 1.2 per 1,000 students. This is a slight reduction in the rate from the 2017 rate (1.4 per 1,000 students) of 0.2 expulsions per 1,000 students.

Overall, expulsions have been reducing since 2009, with the rate reducing by from 2.0 per 1,000 in 2009 to 1.2 per 1,000 in 2018. The greatest reduction in rates of expulsion was seen between 2009 and 2014, the rates for 2018, are slightly above the lowest rates of expulsion seen in 2014 and 2016.

Figure 18: Age-standardised expulsion rates (2000 to 2018)

Ethnic Group

Because overall numbers of expulsions represent a small number of students, small variations in the number of cases from year to year can cause large changes in the rates, especially when broken down by ethnic group.

In 2018, Pacific students had the highest rate of expulsion at 2.6 per 1,000 students. This is nearly three time higher than the rate for European/ Pākehā students at 0.9 expulsions per 1,000 and two times higher than the national rate of expulsion, which is 1.2 per 1,000 students.

Asian students had the lowest rate of expulsion in 2018, at 0.6 per 1,000 students but rates have remained consistently low. Between 2017 and 2018 for Māori, Pacific and European/Pākehā students the rate of expulsion has decreased.

Figure 19: Age-standardised expulsion rates by ethnic group (2000 to 2018)

Gender

Male students were three times more likely to be expelled than female students in 2018. Male students were expelled at a rate of 1.8 per 1,000 students, compared to female students who had 0.6 per 1,000 students.

There is a clear gender disparity in the rate of expulsions across all ethnic groups. The difference is the greatest for European students where male students (1.4 per 1,000) were four times more likely to be expelled than female students (0.3 per 1,000).

Figure 20: Age-standardised expulsion rates, by gender and ethnic group (2018)

Decile

Schools in lower deciles had greater expulsion rates than high decile schools. Schools in the lowest quintile (deciles 1 and 2) draw their students from communities with the highest degree of socio-economic disadvantage.

The age standardised rate of expulsion was 2.9 per 1,000 students.  Students from quintile 1 schools were four times more likely to be expelled than students in quintile 5 schools (deciles 9 and 10), which had an age standardised expulsion rate of 0.6 per 1,000 students.

Age-standardised expulsion rates can be subject to great fluctuation when broken down by quintile and ethnic group because the raw numbers involved are small. Because of this reason, the quintile by ethnic group analysis carried out in the stand-downs, suspensions and exclusions sections has been excluded from this section.

Behavioural Reasons

Physical assault on other students was the primary reason for expulsions accounting for 32% of expulsions (0.4 per 1,000 students). The second most prominent reason was Drugs (including substance abuse) at 23% (0.3 expulsions per 1,000 students). The third most common reason was continual disobedience accounting for 17% (0.2 expulsions per 1,000 students).

In 2018, the majority of reasons for expulsions saw a slight increase of between, 0.01 to 0.15 expulsions per 1,000 students, aside from physical assault physical assault on staff which saw decreases of 0.09 and 0.05 expulsions per student respectively.

Table Figure 21: Age-standardised rate per 1,000 students of expulsions, by behaviour (2000-2018)

Expulsion Rates

Year

Continual Disobedience

Smoking or Alcohol

Theft Vandalism or Arson

Drugs (Including Substance Abuse)

Physical Assault on Other Students

Verbal Assault on Other Students

Physical Assault on Staff

Verbal Assault on Staff

Other

Total

Note:

“Other” behaviours includes sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, weapons and other harmful and dangerous behaviours. Schools make the decision on which behavioural category an incident is classified within.

2000

0.55

0.09

0.28

0.75

0.22

0.03

0.08

0.17

0.23

2.39

2001

0.49

0.13

0.14

0.47

0.3

0.04

0.07

0.12

0.17

1.94

2002

0.47

0.13

0.18

0.56

0.35

0.01

0.04

0.05

0.17

1.97

2003

0.45

0.08

0.23

0.45

0.33

0.05

0.06

0.11

0.21

1.98

2004

0.35

0.08

0.12

0.39

0.35

0.01

0.02

0.05

0.17

1.54

2005

0.47

0.05

0.2

0.4

0.42

0

0.05

0.04

0.14

1.75

2006

0.43

0.1

0.23

0.2

0.33

0.02

0.06

0.02

0.33

1.72

2007

0.43

0.09

0.2

0.31

0.37

0.03

0.13

0.09

0.21

1.86

2008

0.37

0.02

0.16

0.31

0.41

0.01

0.11

0.08

0.14

1.61

2009

0.5

0.05

0.23

0.51

0.33

0.01

0.03

0.05

0.23

1.95

2010

0.46

0.03

0.17

0.7

0.26

0.01

0.05

0.1

0.25

2.04

2011

0.36

0.03

0.18

0.42

0.38

0.01

0.04

0.03

0.18

1.64

2012

0.34

0.02

0.11

0.35

0.22

0.02

0.1

0.02

0.18

1.37

2013

0.31

0.04

0.04

0.48

0.27

0

0.04

0.05

0.15

1.39

2014

0.24

0.02

0.07

0.32

0.18

0

0.07

0.08

0.19

1.18

2015

0.26

0.05

0.1

0.51

0.21

0

0.05

0.02

0.36

1.57

2016

0.22

0.04

0.07

0.16

0.26

0

0.06

0.05

0.28

1.12

2017

0.35

0.06

0.07

0.28

0.29

0.03

0.01

0.05

0.23

1.37

2018

0.2

0.02

0.04

0.27

0.38

0.02

0.05

0.03

0.17

1.19

References

Evidence about what works for this indicator can be found in:

  • Bishop, R and Berryman M (2007). Culture speaks: cultural relationships and classroom learning. Huia Publishers.
  • Christenson, S., Reschly, A. L., & Wylie, C. (2012). Handbook of research on student engagement. New York, NY: Springer.
  • Hattie, J. (2003). Teachers Make a Difference: What is the research evidence? Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research Annual Conference on Building Teacher Quality.
  • Klem, A. M. & Connell, J. P. (2004). Relationships matter: Linking teacher support to student engagement and achievement. Journal of School Health, 74, (7), 262-273.
  • Ministry of Education (2009). Guidelines for principals and boards of trustees on stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions. Part 1: Legal options and duties. Wellington: Ministry of Education.
  • Ministry of Education (2009). Good practice guidelines for principals and boards of trustees for managing behaviour that may or may not lead to stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions. Part 2: Wellington: Ministry of Education.
  • Ministry of Education (2010). Success for All – Every School, Every Child. Wellington: Ministry of Education.

The Ministry of Education has established an Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis Programme to systematically identify, evaluate, analyse, synthesise and make accessible, relevant evidence linked to a range of learner outcomes. Evidence about what works for this indicator can be found on the Education Counts website. The following Best Evidence Syntheses are relevant to this indicator: