Student Suspensions: The Influence on Students and Their Parents

Document Type

Journal Article


Australian Council for Educational Research


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


Kurongkurl Katitjin




This article was originally published as: Partington, G. P. (2001). Student suspensions: the influence on students and their parents. Australian Journal of Education, 45(3), 323-340. Original article available here


In this study, students in Years 8-10 who were suspended from school were interviewed during their suspension to obtain their views on the validity, efficacy and consequences of suspension as a strategy in behaviour management. Their parents were interviewed for their views on the effect of the suspension on the family and on the student. Periods of suspension were from two to ten days, and were supposed to be spent in the care of the parents. The findings indicate mixed consequences of suspension depending upon the context in which it occurs and the characteristics of the student. The study suggests that student responses reflect the extent to which they accept the authority of the school, with more resistant students being less submissive and coming from families where the school is viewed negatively. Alternative strategies to suspension might be more effective for the target students as suspension did little to improve behaviour or performance.

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