The positive approach assumed in Student Discipline in Government Schools is one where practices foster engagement in learning, set clear limits, recognise appropriate behaviour and apply consequences for inappropriate behaviour. Such practices are more likely to promote positive student behaviour than punishment alone.
The development of the new policy, Student Discipline in Government Schools and related Core Rules in NSW Government Schools replace Good Discipline and Effective Learning – Ministerial Statement (1995). In addition, Respect and Responsibility, the NSW Government's plan for values, respect and behaviour in our schools has implications for school policy and practice.
The school discipline policy informs and guides students, staff and parents and caregivers about the aims, underlying philosophy, expectations, strategies and responsibilities for student discipline. The purpose of these support materials is to assist schools to revise their current school discipline policy and build on their current practice.
A ‘statement of purpose’ should outline the aims of discipline in the school and the key beliefs or principles upon which the school’s policy is based. Additionally, the school discipline policy needs to include four key areas:
The discipline code (or school rules)
Strategies and practices to promote positive student behaviour, including specific strategies to maintain a climate of respect
Strategies and practices to recognise and reinforce student achievement
Strategies and practices to manage inappropriate student behaviour.