As we work to build Victoria into the Education State, we must consider what happens to students who are ordered or urged to leave their schools. These students can be highly vulnerable to poor educational and life outcomes.

YACVic has been consulting widely about the issue of student exclusion, which includes suspension, expulsion, reduced attendance, refusal of enrolment, and being ‘asked to leave’ a school. This final paper incorporates lessons from the existing research and input from our stakeholders.

We call for stronger, evidence-based approaches to prevent and address student exclusions. We urge the Victorian Government to build schools’ capacity to work with students experiencing trauma and mental illness, ensure students facing exclusion have expert support to re-engage with education, strengthen meaningful student voice, improve data collection and use, and fund best-practice flexible learning models.