Attending a board meeting about suspension

If a student is suspended the board meets to consider their suspension.

Currently, a student, their parents and their representative are entitled to attend the meeting in person. Changes to the Act allow students and their parents to request to attend the board meeting about the suspension via a telephone conference or video link.

How can a request to attend via telephone conference or video link be made?

When a student is suspended, the principal should give them information prepared by the Ministry of Education which informs the student and their parents of their rights. This includes information about how to request to attend the suspension meeting via telephone conference or video link. A request to attend the meeting via telephone conference or video link must be made in writing. This can be done by email or text.

Does the board have to accept the request?

Boards do not have to accept the request; however they need to have a good reason to refuse it. For example, if the request is made within an unreasonable timeframe (e.g. on the day scheduled for the face to face meeting) or if the school does not have the technology available to meet the request.

Which section of the Act has been changed?

Section 17B enables students, their parents and their representatives to use telephone conference or video link instead of attending in person board meetings concerning suspensions.

When do the changes regarding attendance at board meetings on suspensions take effect from? The changes will come into effect no later than 31 December 2019.

Section 17B, Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 — NZ Legislation website (external link)

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