In November 2015, NSW Premier Mike Baird announced a support package to assist all NSW schools in countering anti-social and extremist behaviour. As part of this support package a range of initiatives designed to build community cohesion and maintain cultural harmony have been introduced.
- training to assist school staff to identify vulnerable young people and help them access support programs
- the establishment of five Specialist Support Teams to work with schools in all sectors
- the establishment of a telephone hotline for school executives to seek advice and report incidents of anti-social and extremist behaviour.
The NSW Department of Education, the Catholic Education Commission NSW and the Association of Independent Schools NSW have collaboratively developed resources to support schools including:
Online awareness module
An online awareness module, School Communities Working Together, has been developed. The online module for staff in NSW independent schools can be accessed via this link or via the Courses and Events section of the AIS website.
Completing the online module will contribute 1 hour of QTC registered professional development addressing 4.4.2 and 7.2.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.
The aim of these guidelines is to augment the School Communities Working Together online awareness module and provide practical guidance to NSW independent school executive team members on how to manage anti-social and extremist behaviour.
These guidelines have been developed specifically for executive staff in NSW independent schools. The other NSW education sectors also have their own specific guidelines for managing anti-social and extremist behaviour in their schools.
Both the online module and the Guidelines reinforce the focus that schools are safe places which support students and the wider community. There are already many good practices, policies and processes to support vulnerable students in NSW independent schools. This awareness package is not meant to replace these, rather it is designed to complement and augment existing practices, policies and processes in your school.
For further information or advice about the School Communities Working Together awareness package, or other support to counter anti-social and extremist behaviour, please contact Robyn Yates, Assistant Deputy Executive Director, Director: Government Education Policy RYates@aisnsw.edu.au or by telephone on 02 9299 2845.