HEATHCOTE Schools will get the support they need to create a safe environment for students and teachers as part of a concerted response to tackle aggressive and violent behaviour in our schools.
Minister for Education James Merlino announced the Protective Schools Package, a new initiative to support schools to better respond to incidents as they occur and address underlying issues to prevent future violence and aggression.
While incidents of violence and aggressive behaviour remain relatively rare in Victoria’s more than 1,500 government schools, this new package will address an increase in the number of reports of this behaviour.
This increase is directly related to more stringent reporting requirements as well as an increased focus on this issue in regional offices.
The Protective Schools Package will deliver an $8.9 million funding boost for security and support. This includes, support for principals making reports and fast-tracked access to additional social workers and new training for support staff to manage students displaying challenging behaviours.
Principals and teachers will receive similar training, as well as additional support to manage long-term and complex student cases.
A 12-month task force will also be created to provide expert advice on the implementation of the package, bringing together educators, psychologists and child health experts.
“We’re taking action to ensure schools have the support they need to prevent aggressive or violent behaviour and intervene decisively when it occurs,” Minister for Education James Merlino said.
“When a school reports aggression or violence, they should get immediate support – this is exactly what this package delivers.
“We have zero tolerance for violence and aggression in schools but simply moving the child on doesn’t fix the problem. This is providing support to intervene earlier and stop aggressive behaviour occurring in the future.”