Airly, Bundalaguah and Clifton Creek Primary Schools are among the first of almost 300 primary schools that will receive funding for a welfare officer, said State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
The officers are part of a $124.4 million Victorian Coalition Government election commitment to help provide additional support to students and families.
The expansion of the Primary Welfare Officer (PWO) initiative will deliver on the Coalition Government’s election promise of an additional 150 welfare officers over the next four years to assist primary school students across the state.
“I welcome the move, which will see welfare officers working in two out of three government primary, P-12 and special schools,” Mr Bull said.
“Under the Coalition’s plan, every Victorian primary school will eventually have access to a welfare officer, and the initiative will also be supported by other government measures to help teachers identify any behavioural issues into the future.
Other commitments to improve student welfare include:
• $10.5 million for the eSmart initiative to help every government school and 300 Catholic and independent schools educate students about cybersafety and cyberbullying;
• $2 million over four years for teacher professional development to manage classroom behaviour;
• $4 million over four years to review and update bullying policies and programs for Victorian government schools.
“Principals of primary schools where the program has operated have been incredibly supportive of the work of welfare officers and have reported enormous improvements in students’ behaviour, attendance, willingness to learn and general perception of themselves,” said Education Minister, Martin Dixon.