Govt promises principals and teachers new disciplinary powers

by James Reid09 Mar 2015

The NSW Government has told principals and teachers it “has their backs” in facing challenging situations in the classroom.

The NSW Premier, Mike Baird and Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli unveiled a new “behaviour code”, which will give principals and teachers greater authority to maintain discipline in the classroom.

 “We want to ensure all students in our public schools are learning in safe and supportive environments where bad behaviour such as bullying and violence is not tolerated,” Baird said.

“The new Behaviour Code for Students unveiled today clearly sets out the expectations we have for students and empowers principals and teachers to take decisive disciplinary action when student behaviour is unacceptable.”

Baird added that the Government “would not tolerate” student behaviour which threatened the safety, wellbeing or learning opportunities of others.

“I know teachers can face challenging situations in the classroom and I want them to know we have their backs.”

The Education Minister said that Government assistance would be provided for the state’s public schools in the form of a $167m support package, if the Baird Government is re-elected in the upcoming state election.

Piccoli said the Supported Students, Successful Students package also released on Sunday would provide NSW public schools with a 45% increase in resources to “improve the welfare of students”.

“If we can better address the challenges faced by students, teachers will have more time to teach and students will have more opportunities to learn without distraction and interruption,” Piccoli said.

 “Not only are we providing more counsellors, we are also giving schools flexible funding to respond to issues — such as cyber safety or bullying — as they arise.”

The package includes:
  • $80.7m to employ 236 additional school counsellors;
  • $51.5m of flexible funding, equivalent to an additional 200 Student Support Officers;
  • $12m to tackle the particular challenges faced by some Aboriginal and refugee students and their families
  • $8m to provide over 500 graduate scholarships to boost the recruitment of school counsellors and other wellbeing positions.