Today the report released by Professor Tony Shaddock into students with complex needs and challenging behaviours, paints a worrying picture for Canberra’s schools. Now more than ever, support for teachers should be paramount, Shadow Minister for Education Steve Doszpot said today.

“According to the report, nearly 70 percent of teachers surveyed said that they had not received support. 69 percent said they had not received support from the Network Student Engagement Teams (NSET) and 68 percent said they had not received support from the Target Support Team. 48 percent said they didn’t feel they had adequate training,” Mr Doszpot said.

“Furthermore, 20 percent reported extreme violence to teachers while 52 percent reported verbal abuse towards teachers. It’s obvious teachers are facing an increasingly difficult task in the classroom.

“Some other key findings from the report include:

 There are too few specialists like psychologists and counsellors to provide support to students, staff and parents.

 Students in mainstream classes that have students with challenging behaviours say that it affects their ability to learn.

 Most teachers indicated that they couldn’t manage and support students with complex needs and challenging behaviours (CN&CB) alone.


“The report also highlighted the belief of parents and teachers that special needs enrolments in ACT schools are growing. So problems will not go away without action.

“These are huge issues that need to be prioritised. Now more than ever I want to focus on support for teachers, so they can continue to carry out the noble role they have in Canberra’s schools,” Mr Doszpot concluded.