As soon as children enter the school grounds their safety and security is one of our priorities. The Department is committed to ensuring a safe and happy environment for your child.
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics has found that schools are 10 times safer than the general community. This safe learning environment is maintained by a range of strategies designed to prevent violence and to promote positive relationships including: programs on conflict resolution, peer support, anti-racism programs, anti-discrimination and harassment programs, student leadership and mediation training programs. Guidelines on these programs are available from your school.
We believe that school learning environments should be free from bullying and harassment. Parents/caregivers are urged to immediately report cases of bullying or harassment to the school principal.
All schools have discipline policies which outline the consequences for those who bully or harass.
Our schools contain on-site security systems and procedures. More than 1,500 NSW public schools and TAFE colleges have electronic surveillance systems connected to 24-hour Security Control Rooms.
In some schools, parents also play a role in keeping the school grounds secure through SchoolWatch. Parents can become a member of a SchoolWatch group to carry out casual surveillance of school grounds after hours.
The Department has implemented the most extensive child protection program ever devised by an Australian education system. We are responsible for the care and welfare of all NSW public school students. Our charter is to protect young people from sexual, physical and emotional abuse, neglect and from improper conduct of a sexual nature.
- We conduct criminal record checks on all permanent and casual teachers who seek employment with the Department.
- We negotiate arrangements with other state education systems to prevent paedophiles from crossing the border and getting teaching jobs in other states.
- We ensure all our staff are aware of their responsibilities to report child sexual assault and improper conduct of a sexual nature by staff members against students.
- We provide training and education materials to teachers on child protection issues.
- We have a team of investigators with experience and expertise in child protection matters to respond to allegations of improper conduct by members of staff.
Since 1999, child protection education has been mandatory in all public schools. In the classroom, as part of Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, teachers educate students to recognise when they may be unsafe and how to get help.
We encourage parents/caregivers to become involved in helping us maintain a safe learning environment for our students. If you would like more information on this important topic contact your school principal or local district office.