The ACT government will look to a new report revealing the extent of violence against ACT school principals to inform decisions to reduce the prevalence of the issue across Canberra.
Violence in Canberra schools has been a long-running concern, which led a parliamentary committee to be called in 2019.
However, nine of the 22 recommendations handed down two years ago are yet to be completed.
Researchers at the Australian Catholic University and Deakin University surveyed 2248 principals and found the ACT cohort were exposed to the highest rates of physical violence in Australia, with more than half suffering a physical attack or threat of violence at school.
Education Minister Yvette Berry said the results of the report were likely in part a reflection of the strong reporting culture she said had been fostered in schools.
She side-stepped questions on the specific recommendations set out in the report, but said she would discuss it with the authors.
The report recommended an independent taskforce to fully investigate offensive behaviours in schools. It also recommended online meetings with parents to reduce conflict.
"The government will now work through the specific recommendations and evidence presented in the report to inform any decisions," Ms Berry said.
"Previous reports have formed the basis of significant work on principal health and wellbeing with the ACT Principal's Association and has underpinned our Principal Health and Wellbeing plan."
In 2019, a parliamentary committee was called following a petition signed by more than 600 people demanding an inquiry into violence in schools.
It came after horrifying accounts of schoolyard attacks were revealed by The Canberra Times.
The joint standing committee on education investigated the "management and minimisation of violence and bullying" in government and non-government schools and handed down 22 recommendations, half of which have been completed.
Ms Berry said the remaining nine recommendations required more work with schools and parents.
"Any instance of violence or harassment in a school is unacceptable and every incident is of concern to the government and is treated seriously," she said.
Among the unfinished recommendations are increased support for principals to ensure consistency in reporting bullying and violence.
The Education Directorate's 2019-20 annual report stated "work is in progress" through an upgraded administration system.
Self-reporting services for students and parents were also recommended with the creation of an online system still under way.
The committee also called for social emotional learning programs to be implemented to address childhood trauma, behaviour management and violence and sensory space to be made available to all students with complex needs.
Psychologists should also be available to students outside school hours, according to the recommendation.
Ms Berry said the government had invested in health and wellbeing programs and started a principal coaching program.
"The ACT public school system has a significantly high percentage of school leaders within their early years in the job," she said.
"This can be a really challenging time for school leaders - which is why we've identified them as key target of our coaching and mentoring program."
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