Federation welcomes Opposition’s pledge to ditch Government’s flawed student behaviour strategy

NSW Teachers Federation has welcomed NSW Labor’s commitment in today’s Daily Telegraph to scrap the Perrottet Government’s controversial new student behaviour strategy policy should they win the election next year.

Deputy President Henry Rajendra said the Opposition Leader’s announcement that his party will develop a fairer student behaviour management policy was a move in the right direction.

We were heartened to hear Opposition Leader Chris Minns acknowledge that the views and experience of teachers and principals cannot be ignored if we are to achieve the best policy outcomes for our schools, said Mr Rajendra.

This new Government policy fails to protect the right of teachers to teach, and the right of students to learn, in a classroom environment free of persistent and sustained disruption.

Teachers and parents are very concerned. They expect schools to be safe, calm learning environments. The Government’s policy will reduce the capacity of schools to achieve this at a time when they are already feeling overwhelmed by increased workloads and massive staff shortages.

The Department’s new and flawed policy was developed by departmental officers who hold no teaching qualifications, have never taught a lesson and have never led or managed a school. And it shows, he said.

Thousands of teachers across hundreds of schools have already voted to reject the new policy, condemning the Minister and Department of Education for their contempt for the teaching profession with the release of this policy.

It’s also time to call out the Government’s ongoing failure to address the learning, health, and social needs of our most vulnerable students: Aboriginal students, students with disability and those from disadvantaged communities.

The needs of these students are complex and the Government has failed to provide the necessary early intervention programs, public preschools, specialist staffing and school counsellors to address student needs well before they manifest as inappropriate behaviours later in school life, said Mr Rajendra.