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Monday, 30 August 2004
Page: 26770


Senator Allison asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training, upon notice, on 14 July 2004:

Can details be provided of any government modelling of the cost for schools that formally commit to the National Safe Schools Framework.


Senator Vanstone (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation) —The Minister for Education, Science and Training has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The National Safe Schools Framework (NSSF) reaffirms principles and practices that schools implement as a matter of course in fulfilling their fundamental mission of providing a safe and supportive learning environment for all students. Therefore, the Government has not undertaken any modelling of the cost for schools of implementing the NSSF.

The Australian Government has provided $4.5 million in 2004 and 2005 to support the implementation of the NSSF. This includes:

$3 million for teacher professional learning to support the implementation;

$1 million for a grants project to help schools select and implement effective, evidence-based best practice programmes to address bullying, violence and abuse;

$300,000 for materials and other support to guide schools in the implementation of the NSSF; and

$200,000 to support the Bullying. No Way! website for a further five years (www.bullyingnoway.com.au).

The legislation covering Australian Government recurrent school funding for the next quadrennium will require the Framework's implementation in all schools.

All Education Ministers agreed in July 2002 that MCEETYA's annual National Report on Schooling in Australia (ANR) will provide the transparent vehicle, at the national level, for public reporting on the application of the National Safe Schools Framework. In accordance with the Ministers' decision, the ANR will include an Appendix each year, from 2005, on measures to implement the National Safe Schools Framework.

The reporting cycle will commence in 2005. A regular annual report on the implementation of the Framework, from 2005 onwards, allows for a transition year for jurisdictions to undertake appropriate alignment processes.

The NSSF's six Key Elements will be the organising framework for jurisdictions' reports, as these are the nationally agreed key areas of school life across which all planning and intervention should occur. The Appendix to the ANR will have the heading `New Strategies, Initiatives and Highlights'. Jurisdictions will describe these in the context of the Framework's Key Elements of good practice:

1. school values, ethos, culture, structures and student welfare

2. policies, programmes and procedures

3. education/training for school staff, students and parents

4. managing incidents of abuse/victimisation

5. providing support for students

6. working closely with parents

Each jurisdiction (government and non-government) will provide text at a systemic level, including relevant school examples as appropriate.