Nev Madsen

Legislation hands discipline power to school principals

QUEENSLAND's state school principals will have greater discipline powers to manage disruptive student behaviour from the start of the new school year.

Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek said on Thursday  the Education (Strengthening Discipline in State Schools) Amendment Bill 2013 had been passed by State Parliament heralding major improvements for state school operations.

"This new legislation will give principals the increased authority they have been asking for," he said.

"Good order and discipline in schools are crucial to boosting our high quality education system.

"Greater flexibility will allow principals to manage student discipline issues by using existing and additional intervention tools such as community service and discipline improvement plans."

Mr Langbroek said the Department of Education, Training and Employment will now implement a newly developed action plan.

"From 2014 the changes will expand principals' abilities to discipline a student for actions outside school that adversely impact other students, the good order and management of the school, or pose a risk to the safety and wellbeing of students and staff," he said.

"Student disciplinary measures will also be able to be carried out on non-school days, for example Saturday detention.

"Short-term suspensions have been extended from up to five school days to up to ten school days and long term suspensions can be between 11 to 20 school days.

"The Bill also bolsters the grounds for suspension and exclusion and includes students who are charged with or convicted of a criminal offence."

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