NSW schools get 'violent student' search powers

by 29 Jan 2010

From the first day of semester NSW schools will be able to request information held by several state agencies on students with violent histories.

Under amendments to the Education Act 1990, school principals will be able to investigate a current or would-be student’s history.

“Principals will be able to obtain relevant information about a student’s history that may affect the conditions of their enrolment,” NSW Education Minister Verity Firth said. “This is about minimising the risk of violent incidents occurring in our schools.”

Besides other schools, agencies from which principals will be able to seek information on students include the Department of Human Services; the Department of Justice and Attorney General; the Department of Health; Police and Emergency Services NSW; NSW government schools and non-governments schools registered under the Education Act and; the Department of Education and Training (TAFE).

Public schools will also be able to obtain “directions” from the Director-General to nominate schools to which a student can be sent.

“An enrolment direction can only be issued if a written risk assessment and management plan indicates that the student can be safely accommodated at the new school,” the guidelines state.

The guidelines can be accessed here: https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/media/downloads/legislation/mhsguidelines.pdf