Page 792 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 6 April 2022
wellbeing for students and staff and pedagogical practices. Staff have been briefed on supports available and plans to address these issues that have been identified by WorkSafe ACT and the concerns raised by unions. As this place was advised yesterday, Calwell is experiencing workforce pressures and has been receiving support to manage this over recent months. The directorate and school leadership have been working closely, monitoring these absences, and the school has had access to priority relief staff.
Schools are part of their communities. Issues like violence and bullying are a whole-of-community issue requiring a whole-of-community response. Our schools engage with their communities to develop policies, plans and activities such as through the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence. Everyone deserves to be safe in their workplace. The Education Directorate has a maturing safety culture that actively encourages occupational violence reporting through the RiskMan system. Its people and performance branch conducts wellbeing check-ins for incidents related to occupational violence.
Some of the ways we are working to address occupational violence in our schools include the ongoing implementation of the positive behaviours for learning whole-school approach to encouraging positive behaviours and preventing and addressing challenging behaviours; ensuring that trauma-informed practices embraced by our schools are focused on students’ social and emotional learning in our schools; a suite of wellbeing initiatives for staff; investing $10 million in our school administration system to improve our capture of real-time data and information about what is happening within our schools; listening to students and hearing their ideas and feedback about making schools friendly and welcome, such as through the student congress, which provides me with direct advice about what its members consider important; developing and delivering occupational violence learning; supporting schools with the establishment of the occupational violence and complex management team; supporting schools and students with access to school psychologists and allied health professionals, including occupational therapists, speech therapists and social workers; and learning support assistants are able to access a scholarship program for a certificate IV in education support, which has a focus on building capability to work with students with complex needs and challenging behaviours.
Calwell High School is a great school. I have visited this school a number of times over the last couple of years. As I said, it is a great school. The teachers are wonderful. The students I have met with over the years have warmly welcomed me to their school. It distresses me to hear of the circumstances that have occurred out at Calwell. I am committed to providing all of the supports there to lift them out of this situation and to continue their great reputation within their community as a great school.
I am committed to supporting working people in the ACT. That is why I am in this place. I am committed to making sure that Canberra kids get a great education at their local school. That is why we invest in public education. That is why we respect teachers and school staff by working in partnership with their unions and with their school communities. I commit myself to continuing to work hard to make sure that our ACT public schools can continue to be the best that they can be.