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Student detention

Q. I believe that you can give students after-school detention for up to 30 minutes, but I cannot find this in writing.

A. For many years, the custom and practice has been that teachers were allowed to give students after-school detentions of up to 30 minutes provided the school had given the parents/caregivers at least 24 hours’ notice.The previous LNP government changed the Education (General Provisions) Act in 2013 to allow for Saturday detentions.

Now detention is a school-based decision.Teachers cannot be directed to undertake supervision of students in a detention after school hours unless they volunteer to do so.

Both teachers and students should have a reasonable time for lunch and access to the school facilities where detentions are held during lunch breaks.

DET’s “Safe, Supportive and Disciplined School Environment Policy” states that the principal determines the school’s detention procedures and authorises staff to make decisions on appropriate consequences and implement disciplinary strategies (except for suspensions, exclusions and cancellations of enrolment) in line with the school’s Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students.

For after-hours detention (including detentions on a day other than a school day), the principal also:

  • arranges appropriate supervision 
  • consults with parents/caregivers about a suitable day/time in which the detention is to be completed within any parameters set by the school
  • notifies students and their parents/caregivers of the school’s procedures, including the responsibilities of students, parents/caregivers and the school in relation to supervision arrangements and start and finish times.

More information about student detention:

 [Page updated : July 2017]