Ministerial Order 1125 – Procedures for Suspension and Expulsion of Students in Government Schools comes into effect on 16 July 2018. A new policy and suite of resources are available to support principals to understand their obligations under Ministerial Order 1125.
Ministerial Order 1125 defines the grounds and process for suspensions, expulsions and appeals relating to expulsions of students in Victorian government schools. The Ministerial Order must be complied with in a manner which is consistent with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.
Ministerial Order 625 applies for all expulsion cases commenced, but not finalised, prior to 16 July 2018. Transitional provisions are outlined in section 19 of Ministerial Order 1125.
New expulsion policy and process
Ministerial Order 1125 and the supporting Expulsion Policy for Victorian Government Schools gives effect to the recommendations of the Victorian Ombudsman’s Investigation into Government School Expulsions and additional reforms to the expulsion process announced by the Minister for Education in March 2018.
Key changes to expulsion policy and process include:
- A stronger focus on supporting schools to explore dispute resolution options, where appropriate
- A strengthened focus on procedural fairness and a requirement for a thorough investigation of the incident/s to be conducted
- Additional support to principals and families during and following an expulsion through a new, dedicated point of contact on expulsions in each region (the Regional Engagement Coordinator)
- A change to the Regional Approved Support Person (RASP) list to comprise senior regional staff to ensure regional engagement at an early stage, and provide principals with access to regional and local Area supports as soon as they are needed.
- A stronger focus on ensuring all available interventions and supports have been exhausted prior to an expulsion decision. This is reflected in renaming of the Behaviour Review Conference to the Behaviour Support and Intervention Meeting
- A requirement for principals to seek the Secretary’s approval to expel students aged 8 years or less
- A requirement for principals to notify the Regional Director when an expulsion is being considered for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student, or a student with a disability who is eligible to receive support under the Program for Students with Disabilities. This is in addition to the requirement for students in out of home care
- A formal requirement for principals to give consideration to the impact of the relevant behaviour on affected parties prior to making an expulsion decision
- A strengthened focus on a supported transition to a new education setting for students that are expelled from a school, with a greater role for the Department’s local Area and regional team
- Changes to the expulsion appeal and review process, including:
- A formal opportunity for the expelling principal to be heard by an Area-based expulsion review panel to explain their decision, in the instance that an expulsion is appealed.Change to the composition of the expulsion review panel to include a new independent member from the Department of Health and Human Services.
- A requirement for the expulsion review panel to consider the safety and wellbeing of affected parties.
- If an expulsion is overturned upon review, the principal can refer the decision to a new independent panel where they hold significant concerns for the safety of other students at the school.
Key information and resources
For principals or other school staff, see
checklists and reporting templates