, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 537–548 | Cite as

The Data of Deviance: Disintegrative Shaming and Exclusion in Queensland Schools

  • Paul BleakleyEmail author
  • Cindy-lou Bleakley


It is the purpose of this study to determine the extent to which the implementation of the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) model and its focus on data-driven behaviour management has impacted on exclusion rates in Queensland public schools and, as such, the commitment of Queensland public schools to reintegration of students with behavioural issues. Using the open source data on student exclusion rates and the reasons for exclusion, it is possible to determine shifting patterns over the last 10 years. In doing so, it has been possible to identify how the approach to exclusion in Queensland public schools has changed in the period since the introduction of the OneSchool data aggregation software. An analysis of exclusion data shows that while long-term suspensions have decreased over the last 10 years, the rate of short-term suspension and exclusion has increased. There has been a particular increase in disciplinary absences related to conduct issues like refusal to participate in class, rather than more serious violations like physical violence or drug use. Using Braithwaite’s reintegrative shaming model as a framework to analyse this behavioural exclusion data indicates that an over-reliance on exclusion is steering Queensland schools away from the principles of restorative justice, and has a negative impact on student outcomes.


Discipline Student behaviour Suspension Expulsion Student attrition School culture 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Middlesex UniversityLondonUK
  2. 2.All Saints Anglican SchoolMerrimacAustralia

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