The ACT has a nation-leading approach to occupational violence in schools despite a high number of reported incidents, ACT Education Minister Yvette Berry says.
The Australian Education Union ACT branch raised the issue of workplace safety in its territory budget submission, stating nearly 1000 incidents were reported each month in February and March with about 800 per month related to violence.
Ms Berry said a strong reporting culture had been embedded in ACT schools.
"We have a nation-leading approach to occupational violence in our schools and we want to continue to lead the country in that work," she said.
"There's a lot to do, obviously with that number of reported incidents, and we'll continue to work with the school communities and their union about how we can make sure that schools are safe places for everybody."
Ms Berry said as schools became more inclusive, more challenges arose with managing behaviour of students and parents.
"Generally they are safe places, but as we become more and more inclusive, students regardless of their background are welcome into our schools, and that sometimes does cause some challenges, not just from students, but also from the parent community as well."
The public teachers' union flagged a lack of casual teaching staff and appropriate infrastructure for students with special needs as factors exacerbating violence in schools.
Members reported their classes were often being split up when no casual teachers were available.
Ms Berry said the ACT government was working on a recruitment strategy to attract teachers to Canberra.
This could include looking at ways to attract professionals who wanted a career change into teaching, following on from NSW announcement last week that would help people fast-track their way into the classroom.
"We definitely need to work harder on a strategy about how we can continue to recruit and fill those gaps that we're definitely experiencing, along with the rest of the country," Ms Berry said.
Ms Berry said the directorate was working on collecting data on the teacher shortage.
"Once we've considered that data, we will work with the education union about what the future looks like as far as how do we keep engaging relief teachers and support them to give them what they need to deliver in the class but also to make sure that our students are getting a good education as well," she said.
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