Stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions

Exclusions and expulsions

Being excluded and expelled are different. In both situations you’re permanently removed from your school. “Excluded” is the term used if you’re under 16 and “expelled” is used if you’re 16 or older.


Education and Training Act 2020, ss 81, 83, 82, 87

If you’ve been excluded from your school:

The principal has to try to help you find another school that’s suitable for you and easy enough for you to get to. Other schools can refuse to accept you. If the principal can’t find one within 10 days, they have to tell the Ministry of Education.

In rare situations, the Ministry will then:

  • lift the exclusion and allow you to go back to your school (if they think it’s appropriate), or
  • get another school to accept you, or
  • ask your parents or guardians to enrol you with the correspondence school.

Finding another school

If you’ve been excluded from a school and you’re looking for a new school to go to, other schools can refuse to accept you while you’re currently excluded. However, this doesn’t mean that just because you were once excluded from a school, any other school can continue to refuse you.

If you’re excluded from school A, but you’re taken in by school B, then school C can’t refuse to accept you if you’re eligible to go there (for example if you’re in school C’s home zone). The only exception is the school that excluded you – they can continue to refuse to accept you indefinitely.


If you have been expelled, the principal doesn’t have to help you find another school. The Ministry of Education might still decide to help you find a new school and can tell a state school to accept you.

Can the school tell other schools about my suspension, exclusion or expulsion?

Privacy Act 2020, s 22 (principle 7)

Yes. The school will record the details of your suspension or exclusion/expulsion on your file, and the file will be passed on if you transfer to another school.

However, if you think the information is incorrect, the Privacy Act gives you the right to ask for the information to be corrected. If the school refuses, you can have a statement from you attached to the information.

Who can see a student’s stand-down, suspension, exclusion/expulsion history?

On the ENROL (electronic enrolment management) system, a school can see the history of all stand-downs and suspensions that have occurred at that school.

A school can only see information on ENROL about stand-downs from previous schools if those stand-downs happened during that same year.

Schools can’t see information about suspensions from previous schools in ENROL.

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Stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions

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