The Northern Territory government has taken over funding for Safe Schools, months after the federal government axed its own funding for the program.

The NT Department of Education has written to more than 150 government schools to confirm that the program will continue, according to The Australian.

More than 100 school principals had expressed a degree of interest in professional development to support running the program, and more than 20 have sent staff to training sessions.

A spokesperson for the department said it had assumed responsibility for the program “to ensure staff are well-equipped with the skills needed to create safe environments for all students, free from bullying”.

Membership is not compulsory and each school is able to decide how it will use the resources.

The program is being funded by the department of education’s existing budget for professional development.

Earlier this year Victoria’s Minister for Equality Martin Foley committed to the ongoing funding of Safe Schools in Victoria, while the South Australian Liberal party has vowed to scrap Safe Schools in South Australia if elected.

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