Baillieu/Ryan Government To Address Student Behaviour Issues

Baillieu/Ryan Government To Address Student Behaviour Issues

Victoria Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu

Coalition To Support VIC Students With Expanded Welfare Officer Plan

Victor P Taffa

150 Extra Primary Welfare Officer Positions in First Term of Coalition Government

A Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will increase support for Primary School Students with a $34 Million investment to massively increase the number of student Primary Welfare Officers in Victorian Government Primary Schools.

Under the Coalition’s Plan, more Primary Welfare Officers will be employed to provide early diagnosis and referral for students with behavioural, mental health and welfare problems, and co-ordinate support for students and their families.

Announcing the Coalition’s plan at Berwick Lodge Primary School this morning, Coalition Leader Ted Baillieu said Teachers and Principals needed more support to help Victorian students grow and learn.


“Under Premier John Brumby, most Victorian Government Primary Schools have no Primary Welfare Officer support despite Teachers and Principals being forced to deal with growing behavioural problems.” Mr. Baillieu said.

“John Brumby does not understand that students cannot learn in a positive environment without adequate support.”

“Our plan means principals and teachers will get the help they need so they can assist students who need direct support and attention.” Mr. Baillieu said.

The Coalition’s Plan will increase the number of schools receiving Primary Welfare Officer Support from 520 to more than 800 schools over four years, increasing support for students with behavioural and family problems across Victoria.

Within the first term of a Coalition Government, two out of every three Government Primary Schools will receive support from Primary Welfare Officers, compared with fewer than half of schools under Labor’s current scheme.

Under the Coalition’s Plan, suitably qualified Primary Welfare Officers will be chosen by principals and will specialise in areas of priority student welfare needs such as mental health problems, family issues and student behaviour management.

Principals will be invited to pool their resources with other schools so Primary Welfare Officers can work on shared needs.

Primary Welfare Officers will specialise in a range of areas including:

• Early identification of Student Behavioural, Health and Social Problems;

• Referral for Students and Families needing Expert Assistance;

• Student Behaviour Management and School Discipline;

• Social work;

• Primary Health and Mental Health Care.

Primary Welfare Officers currently work in fewer than half of Victoria’s Government Primary Schools, focusing much of their efforts on disadvantaged areas despite an increase over the last decade in students with behavioural problems from different socio-economic backgrounds.