Victorian expelled students disadvantaged: report
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Victorian expelled students associated with disadvantage: report


A new report by the Victorian Ombudsman has linked a disproportionate amount of expelled students with mental health, trauma and disability.

Tabled in parliament on Monday, the report makes eight recommendations, including limiting expulsions for students under the age of eight, all of which were supported by the Victorian Government.

The state government has responded to the announcement with a $5.9 million program to assist students with behavioural issues avoid expulsion.

The report showed 60 per cent of individuals in the youth justice system had previously been expelled of suspended, while more than 90 per cent of adults in prisons did not complete secondary school.

“But while everyone should be able to work and study in a safe environment, expelling a child simply shifts the “problem” of the child’s behaviour from one part of the system to another – to another school, another department, to a parent who cannot cope – potentially entrenching or escalating those behaviours,” the report said.

“In many of the cases we reviewed, had the school been willing – or better supported – to deal with the behaviour, the expulsion may not have been necessary.”

Victorian state school expulsions 2016:

  • 278 expulsions (201 in 2015, 158 in 2014, a 75 per cent increase)
  • 221 male, 57 female
  • 232 high school, 43 primary school
  • More than 31 per cent have a disability or mental illness
  • At least 15 students were in out-of-home care
  • At least 14 students were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • About 60 per cent have challenging home lives
  • 72 cases of expulsion linked to drugs
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