Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Minister for Education and Training

    Violence policy at work in WA public schools

    12/03/2019 9:00 AM
     
    • Seven students have been excluded with three more students recommended for exclusion, and 919 students have been suspended for physical aggression this term
    • These tough new measures were introduced to address intentional violence in WA public schools
    • Three new alternative learning settings for excluded students have been secured 

    Since the McGowan Government introduced tough new measures to address intentional violence in Western Australian public schools, seven students have been excluded with another three recommended for exclusion and 919 students have been suspended for physical aggression.

     

    Exclusions are current as of today and suspensions are in the first four weeks of the school year.

     

    At the same time last year, no students had been excluded and 799 students had been suspended for physical aggression. In 2017, only one student had been excluded and in 2016 there were no students expelled in the first five weeks of the school year.

     

    When the policy was announced last year there was a spike in the number of students excluded, showing the violence policy had an immediate effect. 17 students were excluded compared with four at the same time the previous year.

     

    Facilities for the alternative learning settings pilot have been secured - one in the north metropolitan area, one in the south metropolitan area and one in regional WA.

     

    Workshops for school principals on how to implement the new action plan are being rolled out this term across all education regions. Graduate teacher training to de-escalate violence is in place.

     

    Online resources for schools to support the implementation of the actions, including protocols for suspensions and guidelines for implementing Good Standing into the Student Behaviour Policy are available on the Department of Education's website.

     

    The policy changes will be implemented in a way that does not discriminate against students with disability who either cannot manage their behaviour or do not intend to harm others.

     

    Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

     

    "These figures show we have drawn a line in the sand, violence in schools will not be tolerated. These are tough new measures to address intentional violent behaviour against students and staff.

     

    "The Action Plan provides principals and teachers with new tactics to manage incidents and problem behaviour, including moving to expulsions for any student who intentionally instigates violence.

     

    "Violence is unacceptable at any school. Violence is a whole of community issue, it does not start and finish with the school bell and schools alone cannot address this issue.

     

    "Every parent rightly expects that when their child is at school they will be safe and supported to learn, and school staff should feel safe at their place of work."

     

    Minister's office - 6552 5700