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Locked out: Understanding and tackling school exclusion in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand

ISBN: 978-1-927231-73-9

Schools work continually to keep students with challenging and difficult behaviour engaged in education. The message of this book is that more can and needs to be done. The audience of this book includes all those who work with excluded children: school, health and justice personnel; school trustees, parents and community workers.

School exclusion is a world-wide practice that disproportionately affects children from groups identified as at-risk. These students come from low-income backgrounds, are indigenous Australians, Māori and Pasifika students and many have disabilities. Being excluded from school is linked to low school achievement and youth offending, so keeping young people in school is crucial to the health of our communities.

This is the first book to describe school exclusion practices in the local context in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. It presents accessible, locally based research and includes the voices of excluded students, their parents and those who speak for them.

The second part of the book provides examples of research-based interventions that are proving effective. Common themes are early intervention, flexible approaches, robust communications and maintaining school connectedness.

Excluding a child from school affects a wide range of practitioners who work to reduce poor life outcomes for young people. For this reason the authors of this book are drawn from the health, justice and education sectors in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

With forewords by Australia’s National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell, and Judge Andrew Becroft, Principal Youth Court Judge for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Patty Towl PhD is a researcher and writer in the area of school exclusion. She is a former high school principal and special education needs coordinator who specialises in behavioural and learning needs.

Sheryl Hemphill PhD is Professor of Psychology in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University. Professor Hemphill is also a foundation leader of a research program in ACU’s Learning Sciences Institute Australia.