Schools to Improve Respect

Government, Independent and Catholic schools across the region will join forces to introduce a unique cross-sector agreement to lift behaviour standards in schools.

This includes providing greater support for dealing with disruptive students by introducing the role of NSW Chief Behaviour Advisor to lead on best practice for improving and maintaining respectful student behaviour across the State.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke welcomes the initiative to help address common problems impacting schools.

“By implementing changes to decrease disruption in the classroom and allowing more time to learn, we will provide students with a space to thrive and achieve their goals.”

The Advisor will work with schools using the latest evidence-based practices, through the Education Minister’s Schools Advisory Council. They will also advise parents and carers on the most effective ways to support their children and reinforce the behavioural approaches taken at school.

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the behavioural pressures on schools are complex and having a cross-sector approach will help all schools tackle big challenges like social media.

Ms Mitchell also confirmed plans to more than double the number of Behaviour Specialists supporting NSW public schools to manage complex student behaviour, from 70 to 200.

“The boost to the number of Behaviour Specialists will mean more schools will benefit from these experts who can provide advice to teachers, coordinate resources and build the capacity of schools to manage challenging and complex student behaviour,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Our overall approach will help embed our recent inclusive, engaging and respectful school’s reforms in public schools, and share best practice across systems so that all schools can adopt strategies that have been proven to work well.”

The new approach will also include recognising students who have shown high standards of respectful behaviour, inclusiveness and community-mindedness.

Each school will present a Premier’s Respect Award to a student who exemplifies respectful behaviour, then an expert panel will select the top 10 who will be presented with their awards by the Premier at an annual Respect Award Showcase.

A global search for the first NSW Chief Behaviour Advisor will commence in October, with the appointment to be confirmed by the start of the 2023 school year.

Nominations for the new NSW Premier’s Respect Awards will open in October. The first winners will be announced at the end of the year.

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