Student Rights

Free legal help for students, parents & caregivers


This book has been written for students at school and their advocates. Read it, share it, talk to your local Community Law Centre about it! We hope that it helps you deal with any problems you might have at school and that it gives you a better understanding of your rights in the education system.

What’s new in this edition of Problems at School?

Problems at School has been completely updated since the last edition (called Schools and the Right to Discipline), with several new sections and additions, as well as legal updates and clearer language. You’ll find new information about many issues, including:

Where can I get more help?

This guide will give you some information about your rights at school. If you need help enforcing your rights, contact your local Community Law Centre. Lots of Community Law Centres have student advocacy services and we are here to help! For example, we can help you to prepare for meetings with boards of trustees and someone from Community Law might even be able to attend a meeting with you. If you’ve been suspended or expelled, we can support you and advise you of your rights. We can connect you with other people and agencies who will help you. You can also call our Student Rights Service for free on 0800 499 488 or YouthLaw on 0800 884 529 for more information.


He mihi nui tēnei ki te kaituhi matua, ki a Amelia Jeffares, kātahi te mahi rangatira ko tēnei.

We’d also like to acknowledge everyone else who has contributed to this resource. Tēnei te mihi ki a koutou katoa: Matthew Bartlett, Karen Davis, Yasmine El-Orfi, Alexandra Keeble, Kristin Jerram, Jo Maskell, Marcus Pawson, Vanushi Walters, Ahi Wihongi, Gender Minorities Aotearoa and YouthLaw Aotearoa.