Research Plan

Phase 1: National Policy Audit – A critical policy analysis of approaches to exclusionary discipline

·        Identification and critical analysis of the policy landscape relating to the use of exclusions from school

·        Identification of the ways current federal and state policies guide the exclusion of students.

Phase 2: National Data Profile – The nature and extent of school exclusions in Australia

·        Comparative analysis of the actual number of suspensions and exclusions recorded in different jurisdictions (i.e., their incidence) over a 5-year period.

·        The reasons cited for suspensions and exclusions.

·        Breakdown of which groups of students are suspended and excluded by age, gender, ethnicity, location, and socio-economic status.

Phase 3: Illustrative Case Studies – Short-term and long-term impact of exclusions

·        Exploration of the ways exclusionary practices impact on students and their families.

·        Investigation (through semi-structured interviews) of the experiences of young people with experiences of exclusion, and an appropriate family member or carer.

Phase 4: Set of Policy Alternatives – An analysis of the views of ‘policy actors’ on exclusionary policies

·        Investigating potential alternative policy constructions schools can draw on to address student behaviour issues.

·        Communicating with senior policy actors to investigate their concerns about the effects of current policies and approaches to school exclusion and if they have any alternative ideas.