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Excluding students from school: A re-examination from a children’s rights perspective

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School exclusion including school suspension is common in Western industrialised countries and has negative effects on excluded students such as alienation from and dropping out of school and engaging in antisocial and violent behaviour. Australia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Children’s Rights. The CRC sets out a framework to document and evaluate school policies and practices and specific sections relate to the use of school exclusion (e.g., repeated suspension constitutes the denial of education and reflects failure to guarantee access to education, Article 28 of the CRC). However, in the Australian debates about the use of school suspension and expulsion, rarely is the children’s rights to an education perspective adopted. In this paper, the issues around the use of school suspension are reconsidered through a children’s rights lens. It is concluded that such a view requires consideration in Australia discussions about school exclusion.

Affiliations: 1: a)School of Psychology, Australian Catholic University,; 2: b)Department of Social Sciences and Organization Studies, University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg, Austria,


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