The NSW government has announced it will replace the Safe Schools Coalition program with a new anti-bullying strategy.

Three years after it was launched by the Abbott government, the insidious Safe Schools program is to be axed in NSW and replaced with a real anti-bullying program.

Education Minister Rob Stokes released a statement announcing a new strategy would replace Safe Schools and would be available to teachers by term three.

“The Australian government, who fund and oversee the Safe Schools program, have advised that they will no longer be providing funding for the program by mid-year,” Stokes said.

The government was still committed to making sure NSW schools remained supportive of those who are struggling at school.

“Bullying will never be accepted in NSW public schools – whether it be because someone is overweight, gay, based on the colour of their skin or for any other reason.”

“Students who are struggling in our schools, for whatever reason, need support and will continue to receive it in NSW public schools.”

The NSW Government is the first state to dump the program, with Labor State Governments in Victoria and the ACT deciding to fund their own versions after June.

Tony Abbott has welcomed the New South Wales government’s decision to replace the controversial Safe Schools program with a new anti-bullying strategy. Mr Abbott tweeted: “Good that NSW is scrapping so called Safe Schools, a social engineering programme dressed up as anti-bullying. This was a Gillard govt programme, not – REPEAT NOT – an Abbott govt one.”

Safe Schools Coalition Australia (SSCA) said it would continue to ensure all Lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex (LGBTI) young people can ‘learn in a safe and inclusive environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect’.

‘We will continue to build the capacity of teachers through professional development in 2017,’ an SSCA spokeswoman said in a statement.