Safe Schools program ‘beneficial to students’

Trafalgar High School’s acting principal says its community supports the controversial Safe Schools Program, currently offered at the school.

The school implemented the program, aimed at supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or intersex students, four years ago as part of its approach to student wellbeing.

More than 500 schools across Australia have signed up for the program, which attracted attention last week when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ordered a review of the curriculum.

It comes after several Coalition backbenchers expressed concerns the program was unsuitable for children.

However, Trafalgar High School acting principal John Freyne told The Express the program was beneficial to its students alongside a “variety of health and wellbeing teaching material from a range of sources”.

“Our current approach to student wellbeing and welfare is comprehensive, with Safe Schools one part of that overall program,” Mr Freyne said.

“We saw benefit, particularly in developing an inclusive community, one that could effectively support all students.”

According to Mr Freyne, the school’s approach to student wellbeing is highly regarded by not only the parent body, but the wider community.

He said the key to the program’s success at the school was tailoring it to suit the needs of its students.

“The critical part, as with any government initiative, is to apply the material within your context and appropriately for your school setting,” Mr Freyne said.

“We believe we have applied our own key values of inclusiveness, tolerance and respectfulness to the Safe Schools Program (and) it has therefore worked effectively in our context.”

He said the school community would continue supporting the program in the manner it was currently applied.