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Understanding the impact of school disipline

  • Note: this is a past research project that is now complete.


    This project is an in-depth qualitative investigation of young peoples' and school staff perspectives on school discipline practices, associated experiences and the unintended consequences of school exclusion, particularly suspensions.   It is funded by the Australian Research Council and forms part of the broader IYDS program of research.

    Individual interviews will be conducted with young people (n=50) who are current students as well as those who are recent school leavers. These young people will be purposively recruited to ensure that a range of experiences with school discipline can be explored. That is, while some of the young people interviewed will have been suspended or expelled from school; others will have experienced less serious disciplinary actions. Others still will have experienced these practices more as observers and friends of young people experiencing the actual disciplinary actions.

    Additionally, a qualitative case-study approach will be used with 9 schools involving individual interviews with principals and focus groups with school staff. The purpose of these case studies is to explore how individual schools approach school discipline, as well as to investigate teachers' experiences of associated stress.

    The findings from this research will have implications for school- and government-level policies determining contemporary approaches to school discipline.


    ARC Discovery Grant


    IYDS website

    John Toumbourou