Sydney (Tribune International, NSW Education Release, 9 March 2021): A network of new behaviour experts is the cornerstone of the NSW Education Student Behaviour Strategy released today.

The new statewide team of behavior specialists will provide advice, coordination and case management for students that require it.

The Student Behaviour Strategy focuses on early intervention and increased support and professional learning to assist teachers’ classroom management and student behaviour needs.

Minister for Education

Hon Sarah Mitchell Minister for Education

said the strategy supports schools to address increasingly complex student behaviour while ensuring every student can access education and fulfil their potential.

“This strategy is informed by local and international best practice and incorporates recent feedback,” Ms Mitchell said.

“We are determined to ensure our schools are safe and respectful learning environments for both staff and students.”

The new approach is based on the Telethon Kids Institute’s research in its 2019 evidence review of what works best to support student behaviour needs.

It also incorporates the recommendations of three separate independent reviews in NSW and stakeholder consultation over three years.

Included in the new strategy is:

  • A new statewide team of 36 behaviour specialists to provide advice, coordination and case management of complex cases.
  • Easier access to additional allied health and professional behaviour support services for schools.
  • New additional professional learning and enhanced tools to build the school workforce’s capability and confidence to support and manage student behaviour.

Ms Mitchell said the government endeavoured to listen to all voices in developing the strategy from teachers, principals, students, parents, carers, community members, non-government organisations and service providers.

“The strategy is informed by this valuable feedback and strikes a balance between allowing every student to fulfil their potential and ensuring safe working environments,” Ms Mitchell said.

Ms Mitchell said principals would retain the discretion to suspend students.

However, the Minister said the department would continue to collaborate with principals on evidence-based options for how suspensions were issued and managed.

The Student Behaviour Strategy will be phased in with consultation continuing on a suite of new policies and procedures, due to be released in Term 3, 2021.

The Student Behaviour Strategy can be found at: https://education.nsw.gov.au/student-wellbeing/attendance-behaviour-and-engagement/student-behaviour/behaviour-strategy

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