Legislative Council: Tuesday, February 06, 2024


Public School Security

In reply to the Hon. S.L. GAME ().30 November 2023).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): The Minister for Education, Training and Skills has advised:

Security guards are strategically deployed in our schools based on need. This can include violence arising from student and parental behaviours or threats of violence. However, it can also include presence at events (such as school formals) or during building works (to prevent unauthorised access and vandalism).

During its term, the Malinauskas Labor government has increased funding to support student safety. This includes more funding for behaviour support coaches in student support services, rolling out positive behaviour for learning and direct funding to schools for restorative practices training.

The rollout of the mobile phone policy in schools during 2023, which became compulsory from term 3 2023 is also central to the government's strong commitment to reduce violence in schools and improve education outcomes.

There has been a 29 per cent decrease in onsite violent incidents involving kicking and punching between secondary school students in terms 3 and 4 2023 compared to a similar period in 2022. It is still early days but the positive progress is pleasing to see.

The department's latest data also shows a 7 percentage point improvement in students indicating they have never been bullied compared with 2020. This is a positive early sign that the initiatives being implemented by the Malinauskas Labor government are making a difference.

Policies and initiatives implemented by the department are based on international research and the legislative and social context of South Australian schools.