Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Managing student behaviour

Department of Education Media Release

10 July 2012

To be attributed to Deputy Secretary School Education, Liz Banks

  • All Government schools have strong processes in place to protect the safety of students and staff.
  • All schools are required to develop policies and procedures in relation to discipline, bullying and the appropriate use of the internet and mobile phones.
  • The department has comprehensive behaviour management systems in place and supporting resources.  In all cases of unacceptable behaviour, the department works with parents and guardians to ensure disciplinary sanctions are used as a last resort.
  • Nationally recognised programs such as School Wide Positive Behaviour Support and Restorative Practice are in place in many schools. These programs actively teach children appropriate behaviour and social skills and have the capacity to reduce the number of suspensions. Parental support is critical.
  • The National Safe Schools Framework and its accompanying resource materials, provide schools with actions for planning, implementing and maintaining a safe and supportive school community.
  • Teachers owe students a duty of care to prevent them injuring themselves, other students, staff or members of the public.
  • Within guidelines, Tasmanian Government school teachers are able to physically restrain students only if they believe the student is at risk of harming themselves or another person.
  • Students are more likely to do well and to behave well in a caring, supportive environment where the relationships are respectful.
  • The Education Act lays down the processes related to sanctions such as suspensions, exclusions or expulsions that a school may apply to unacceptable behaviour.
  • In 2011, the number of suspension incidents primarily for physical harassment of a teacher or physical abuse of a teacher or other staff member represented 3% of all suspension incidents.
  • The number of student days lost from suspension for primarily physical harassment of a teacher or physical abuse of a teacher or other staff member represented 0.01% of total available student days.

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