Principal responds to top school’s high suspension rate


A Logan school, named for being Australia's Secondary School of the Year and for having the country's best principal, has also topped a list for having the most suspensions.

Marsden State High School, which won the country's top school awards for 2020, also meted out the second most suspensions for under 10 days from 2015 to 2019.

Over the five years, there were 3838 suspensions for under 10 days handed out at Marsden, which was only eclipsed by Ipswich's Redbank Plains State High School, where 4614 were dished out.

Logan's Mabel Park High School was 19th on the list with 2147 suspensions issued for up to 11 days.

The figures were not for 2020 and did not include disruptions caused by COVID.

Kingston State Primary School came in at 20th on the list with 2351 and Flagstone State High was not far behind with 2069.

Loganlea State High came in at 26th and Kingston State Secondary College issued 1876 over the five years to take out the 32nd spot.

Ipswich schools took out four places in the top 10.

Marsden principal Andrew Peach, who was named Australia's top state school principal for 2020, said his school had high standards, which were part of its ongoing success and popularity in the community.



Marsden State High school principal Andrew Peach, named Australia’s top principal for 2020, said the suspension data was misleading.
Marsden State High school principal Andrew Peach, named Australia’s top principal for 2020, said the suspension data was misleading.





But he said the suspension figures were misleading and should be calculated on a per capital basis by comparing the number of suspensions with the number of students.

He also said the number of short suspensions had dropped by 250 from 818 in 2015 to 631 in 2019.

"Marsden State High School is Australia's third largest high school, and the only very large school located in a low socio-economic community," he said.

"With a significant increase in enrolments, this equates to a reduction from 106.3 per term per 1000 students in 2015, to 63.9 per term per 1000 students in 2019.




"Similar reductions have occurred in the long time suspensions between 11 and 20 days, as they were down by 21 and the exclusion space was down by five.

"These reductions, in the face of enrolment growth from 2096 to 2482, or approximately 400 additional students over this time, are part of the recent recognition of Marsden State High as Australia's Government School of the Year at the Australian Education Awards."

Mr Peach said Marsden High School's in-catchment enrolment numbers were "far in excess" of other very large high schools, which indicated the local community had a high level of confidence in the school.


Originally published as Principal responds to top school's high suspension rate