Schools ban hundreds

NZ Herald 5 September 2013
Dozens of disruptive kids ‘excluded’ for more than a term – one for 1 1/2  years.

A teen has been left in limbo without education for 305 school days as new figures spark concerns that at-risk pupils are falling through the cracks.

Nearly 30 young people have been off school for more than 100 school days after being excluded for bad behaviour, information obtained by the Herald shows.

The delays in finding a new school or alternative education have led to calls for greater investment in making sure the most at-risk students have a place to end up, and quickly.

“Every day that a kid is not in school is a day that they fall further and further behind,” said Labour education spokesman Chris Hipkins.

“It costs us far less to spend money getting kids into some other form of educational training, or back into school, than it does to lock someone up in prison after things go badly.”

As at August 9, the Ministry of Education was helping 244 students back into education after their exclusion from school.

Reasons for exclusions have included continual disobedience, drugs, and physical assaults.