REVEALED: Ipswich's naughtiest and nicest schools

IPSWICH'S naughtiest and nicest state schools have been revealed, with as many as 1180 cases of short-term suspensions reported in a year.

New state government data reveals of the 38 state high and primary schools in Ipswich, five had more than 200 cases of short-term suspensions last year.

Redbank Plains State High School recorded 1185 cases of short-term suspensions, 48 of long-term suspension, 19 exclusions and six enrolment cancellation cases among the 1833 students enrolled.

A student is able to be given multiple short-term suspensions before they receive a long-term suspension, exclusion or enrolment cancellation.

Deebing Heights State School, which is about to celebrate its first birthday next month, had no suspensions of any kind among its 107 students.

Another 15 schools had fewer than 50 cases of short-term suspensions, the Department of Education and Training school disciplinary absentee report showed.

Redbank Plains State High School Principal Tom Beck said 16.5% of students were suspended last year.

"We do accept the suspension rate is relatively high but I believe it's part of a process in the school to maintain high standards and the ability for the majority of students to learn and adapt to a range of policies or programs which will lead to the reduction of those suspensions," he said.

"Part of that is establishing in classrooms programs where students are fully engaged in learning processes and then stop misbehaving to focus on learning and be happier to be there." He said about half of the 16.5% of students who were suspended did not need any further form of disciplinary action.

"Sixteen-and-a-half per cent of students have been suspended but half of those learn their lesson and have changed their behaviour. To get a long-term suspension you have to get a number of short-term suspensions before that," he said.

"Many only get a suspension once and after that time have not re-offended or done anything of the magnitude for suspension.

"The vast majority of students never get a behaviour management referral from the school.

"There are a few students who have multiple behaviour management issues that we need to address. "Eighty per cent of students never get into any trouble and it's only a very last resort to exclude students."

Mr Beck said the school already had programs in place to address student behavioural issues which showed signs of success.

"We have a program with a success coach which has dramatically changed the behaviour of many students and led to a complete change in behaviour," he said.


What's the difference between short and long term suspension?

A broad range of strategies is used by state schools to address student behaviour challenges.

This includes school disciplinary absences comprising short suspensions, long suspensions, expulsions and in some cases, cancellation of enrolment.

There are five categories of school disciplinary absences: short suspension, long suspension, exclusion, cancellation and change suspension. Changes were introduced in 2014 and 2015 that impact how SDAs are reported over time.

In 2014, short suspensions changed from one to five school days to one to 10 school days and long suspensions changed from six-20 school days to 11-20 school days.

A new suspension type was introduced, charge suspension, which allowed principals the option of suspending a student charged with an offence.

Key facts:

  • A student may be suspended from a school because of conduct that is prejudicial to the good order and management of the school.


  • A student may be excluded where behaviour is so serious that suspension is inadequate to deal with the behaviour.


  • Exclusion prohibits a student from attending one or more state educational institutions for a nominated period.
  • The principal can cancel the enrolment of a post compulsory age student if the student displays persistent refusal to participate in the program of instruction.

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