Illawarra male students climbing state school suspension list

Ryan Park

Ryan Park

Students from the Illawarra made up 10 per cent of the state's suspended students in 2013, according to figures obtained by opposition education spokesman Ryan Park.

In 2013, students in the Illawarra South East region - which extends to the Victorian border - accounted for 10.8 per cent of all students suspended from primary and high schools across NSW.

That figure held steady from 2012, when they accounted for 10.6 per cent of students.

In 2012, the region accounted for 9.1 per cent of all students enrolled in NSW public schools.

While 2013 figures were not yet published by the Department of Education, in 2012 1.7 per cent of all students enrolled in NSW public schools were suspended.

Almost 20 per cent of all suspensions came from schools in the Hunter and Central Coast region, while students in Western Sydney accounted for nearly 13 per cent.

The smallest percentage of students came from schools in North Sydney, at just over 3 per cent.

Boys were suspended far more often than girls, accounting for almost 75 per cent of suspensions.

Mr Park said targeted support should be given to areas with a high number of suspended students, including more school counsellors and extra professional development for teachers focusing on management of poor behaviour from students.

According to the Department of Education policy, principals must apply other appropriate disciplinary options before suspension.

A department spokesman said suspensions were used to manage behaviour when a student put their safety, well-being or ability to learn at risk, or that of others.

Students are suspended immediately if they are physically violent, bring a firearm, prohibited weapon or knife to school, engage in serious criminal behaviour related to the school, or use, supply or bring illegal drugs to school.

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