Publication Date



In the best tradition of education bureaucracies my title has changed since the conference program was printed! I now head up a new Directorate within the Western Australian Department of Education and Training called Student Behaviour and Wellbeing. The establishment of this new Directorate is symbolic of the profile the Department is giving to issues of student behaviour and wellbeing. It’s a sign of the times. The perspective I will be presenting this afternoon is that of a senior bureaucrat in a state system with all the messiness and the rough and tumble and the daily crises that characterize life in that world. The truth is that the origins of many initiatives are explained by a whole variety of internal forces and the current zeitgeist rather than a sober consideration of research and the kind of initiatives that might suggest. So the view that I will be presenting is from the real life action end of things where research findings struggle to get a look in. This despite the rhetoric of all school systems about the need for more evidence based decision making.