Information and policies

As part of the Student Behaviour Strategy, the Department is looking at ways that it can support student behaviour and schools more effectively.

It is crucial to be aware of any changes to policies and guidelines that effect students, staff and your school as some of these policies may be changing soon.

Policies and guidelines

  • Student Behaviour Policy and Procedures - Direction and guidance on reinforcing positive, inclusive, respectful and safe practices for supporting positive student behaviour in NSW public schools. Principals acting in accordance with this policy and the Student Behaviour Procedures are acting with the authority of, and are supported by, the NSW Department of Education. There you will also find the School Behaviour Support and Management Plan and the Detention and Time-out Guidelines.
  • Bullying of Students – Prevention and Response Policy sets out the department’s position on student bullying and the requirements for preventing and responding to student bullying, including online bullying. This is also where you will find the Anti-bullying Plan, which each school is required to complete.
  • Legal Issues Bulletins assist department staff to understand a range of issues from a legal perspective. If you are in doubt about a particular issue, contact the relevant department found at the bottom of the page for further clarification.
  • The Policy Library contains all the current operational policies for the department. Many different policies intersect with behaviour support and management including enrolment and attendance, access and equity policies and health safety and wellbeing policies.
  • Part-day exemptions can be used as part of behaviour management transition plans. They should only be used as a short term (5 weeks) strategy. A part-day exemption can only be used if the parent/carer has been consulted with and agrees to it. A plan of support to return the student to school must be completed and sent via the local Learning and Wellbeing team to the Director for approval. Please refer to the Exemption from school procedures for further information.

Risk assessment and management planning

Most student behaviour that requires intervention is managed using school policies and processes. If the behaviour presents a potential risk to the safety of students, staff, visitors or school property, further assessment and management may be required.

The Department's Health and Safety Directorate has developed a range of procedures, guidelines and tools to assist with the management of students with challenging behaviours. Learn more about risk management and student safety (internal staff only).

Educational services support

Beyond school-based staff and support, schools can draw on the expertise of their local Delivery Support Team Around a School, who facilitate access to specialist staff, such as Assistant Principals, Learning and Support, Networked Specialist Facilitators and specialist behaviour settings across NSW.

Specialist behaviour settings

Specialist settings provide additional support for students with severely disruptive behaviour.

  • Behaviour schools provide a range of specialist programs for students with in Years 5-10 with the aim of returning the students to regular schools or supporting their transition to other education or employment opportunities. There are 35 behaviour schools across NSW.
  • Tutorial centres and programs provide an age appropriate short-term intervention for students in Years 5 to 10 who require intensive levels of intervention that cannot be provided within a mainstream or support class setting. There are 40 tutorial centres and programs across NSW.
  • Suspension centres provide an intervention for students who are on long suspension from school and have been identified by their school as likely to benefit from a structured program to assist their successful return to school as soon as possible. There are 22 suspension centres across NSW.

For more information and advice related to local supports for students with severely disruptive behaviour, please contact your local delivery support team.


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  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
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