26 September 2023

New Behaviour Advisor to boost school manners

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NSW teachers are to receive more support for dealing with disruptive students with the creation of a NSW Chief Behaviour Advisor to lift behaviour standards in the State’s schools.

Announced by Premier Dominic Perrottet, the new role is part of a cross-sector agreement between Government, Independent and Catholic schools across the State.

“We want our students to succeed by providing them with the best education from the best teachers, but that simply can’t happen if students don’t also strive to put their best foot forward when it comes to behaviour at school,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Teachers across school sectors have told us they want greater support for dealing with disruptive students and that’s why we’re introducing the role of NSW Chief Behaviour Advisor to lead on best practice for improving and maintaining respectful student behaviour,” he said.

“The Advisor will work with schools using the latest evidence-based practices, through the Education Minister’s Schools Advisory Council.”

Mr Perrottet said the Advisor would also counsel 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 welcomed the announcement saying the behavioural pressures on schools were complex and having a cross-sector approach would help all schools tackle big challenges like social media.

Ms Mitchell 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.

“The new approach will be complemented by the state’s first-ever cross-sector school respect awards, to recognise students who have shown high standards of respectful behaviour, inclusiveness and community mindedness,” she said.

“Each school in NSW 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.”

Ms Mitchell said nominations for the new NSW Premier’s Respect Awards would open in October, with the first winners to be announced at the end of the year.

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