A Court of Appeal ruling could have far-reaching consequences for the way students are disciplined.
The School Trustees Association conference in Christchurch has been told that if the court dismisses an appeal from an Auckland school, it will significantly change how students are dealt with.
Lynfield College has appealed a ruling last year in the High Court, which forced the school to reinstate a 16-year-old it had excluded for alleged incidents of truancy, drug use and misbehaviour on a school trip.
An advocate from the Office of the Children's Commissioner, Rod Davis, told the conference the court's decision will have big implications for how a board responds to student behaviour.
Mr Davis says if the High Court ruling is upheld, it will mean that rather than just dealing with the misbehaviour, schools will have to do much more to find out why the misbehaviour occurred.