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ABSTAINED – Committees - Education and Employment References Committee; Reference - School disruption

The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by West Australian Senator Matt O'Sullivan (Liberal), which means it passed.

Motion text

That the following matter be referred to the Education and Employment References Committee for inquiry and report by the first sitting day in July 2023:

The issue of increasing disruption in Australian school classrooms, which is disadvantaging students and contributing to poor literacy and numeracy results for young people, denying them the learning of essential foundational skills to reach their full educational, economic and social potential, with specific reference to:

(a) the declining ranking of Australia in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) disciplinary climate index, making Australian classrooms amongst the world's most disorderly;

(b) the impacts, demands and experience of disorderly classrooms on teacher safety, work satisfaction and workforce retention;

(c) teachers' views on whether or not they are sufficiently empowered and equipped to maintain order in the classroom and what can be done to assist them;

(d) the robustness, quality and extent of initial teacher education to equip teachers with skills and strategies to manage classrooms;

(e) the loss of instructional teacher time because of disorder and distraction in Australian school classrooms;

(f) the impact of disorderly, poorly disciplined classroom environments and school practices on students' learning, compared with their peers in more disciplined classrooms;

(g) the stagnant and declining results across fundamental disciplines as tested through National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) attributing to poorer school-leaving results and post-school attainment;

(h) how relevant Australian state, territory and federal departments and agencies are working to address this growing challenge;

(i) how leading OECD countries with the highest disciplinary climate index rankings are delivering orderly classrooms to provide strategies on how to reduce distraction and disorder in Australian classrooms; and

(j) any related matter.


Date and time: 3:47 PM on 2022-11-28
Senator Pocock's vote: Abstained
Total number of "aye" votes: 45
Total number of "no" votes: 12
Total number of abstentions: 19

Adapted from information made available by