THE Safe Schools program is set to be scrapped in both New South Wales and Tasmania once federal funding for it runs out later this year.
NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes confirmed it will instead be replaced with a new anti-bullying strategy.
“Bullying will never be accepted in NSW public schools whether it be because someone is overweight, gay, based on the colour of their skin, or for any other reason,” he said.
“Students and parents should expect that schools are a place where they feel safe.
“Schools remain one of the most secure and trusted public institutions in our community.”
Federal funding for Safe Schools will stop on June 30 but the new NSW program will receive funding in the state budget and will be ready for implementation in the second half of the year.
Tasmania’s Education and Training Minister Jeremy Rockliff has similarly confirmed that his government won’t fund the Safe Schools program once federal funding stops mid-year, despite it already being implemented in 22 Tasmanian schools.
Rockliff said he will instead opt to focus on a comprehensive anti-bullying scheme for the schoolyard.
In an article by The Australian Rockliff said the Tasmanian government is committed to providing a safe and inclusive school environment.
“It is up to each Tasmanian school to make their own decisions about the programs used in their school, and government schools are encouraged to use the Department of Education’s own program,” he said.
“Given the significant investment in our own anti-bullying initiative, the state government has no plans to take over funding for the federal program.”
Western Australia’s new Labor government has committed to funding the Safe Schools program over the next four years, and a spokeswoman for Queensland’s Education Minister said there were no plans to ditch the program.
In South Australia, the government is weighing up whether to take over funding, while Victoria has committed more than $2 million to roll out the program to all state schools by the end of 2018.