Student behaviour policy to address disruptive classrooms

A new policy to manage student behaviour and support safe and positive learning environments will be available to NSW public school teachers before the end of the year.

The Department of Education is now sharing its proposed Student Behaviour Policy with school leaders for feedback, following extensive consultation with education partners including the NSW Teachers Federation, the Primary Principals Association, the Secondary Principals Council and the Special Education Principals and Leaders Association.

The policy overhaul initiated by the Minns Labor Government earlier this year followed widespread feedback from teachers and principals.

The review delivers on a key commitment of the NSW Government to improve student behaviour management procedures so teachers can support safe, responsible and respectful student conduct.

The government states it also reaffirms a commitment to help all students, including those with complex learning and support needs, to reach their full potential.

“The proposed changes provide teachers and principals with the authority they need to appropriately manage student behaviour. This includes a scale of measures schools may use to address problem behaviour, including suspension and expulsion as critical safeguards where necessary.

Schools will continue to employ positive teaching strategies in classrooms to minimise disruption and encourage a productive learning environment,” a release from the NSW Government stated.

The new policy will be released to NSW public schools in Term 4, 2023, for teacher training and familiarisation, before coming into effect in Term 1, 2024.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said students and teachers have a right to learn and work in safe classrooms.

“We have heard loud and clear from teachers and principals that the procedures introduced by the former government did not enable safe and respectful classrooms to be maintained for students and staff,” Ms Car said.

“Our schools must be safe learning environments and our staff must have the support and authority they need to manage disruptive and challenging student behaviours.

“It’s important all students have a classroom environment that minimises disruptions, maximises teacher instruction time and enhances learning.”