The number of serious incident reports from Illawarra schools has increased dramatically over the past eight years.
Figures released by the Department of Education reveal 40 serious incidents were reported in Illawarra schools in term 1 this year.
Schools made 38 incident reports in term 4 of 2012.
Last year, 30 incident reports were made in term 1 compared with 17 in term 1 of 2011. Only four reports were made in the first term of 2005.
In NSW, a total of 386 serious incident reports were made at the start of this year, the highest number since term 1 of 2006 when there were 396 reports.
Schools in South-West Sydney reported 58 serious incidents, Western Sydney recorded 66 and the Hunter and Central Coast recorded 65.
A Department of Education spokesman said yesterday while there was an increase in serious incident reports, schools were still among the safest places for children.
"The number of serious incident reports has increased over the years. This is not necessarily due to an increase in serious incidents.
"The department's Safety and Security Directorate has been educating and encouraging schools to report incidents, which they may not have previously reported. This has been a major factor in the increase of serious incident reports."
He said more than 88 per cent of schools did not report a single incident in term 1 of this year and pointed to a report by Dr Don Weatherburn, Director of NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, that found school-aged children were safer at school than they were out of school.
In the Illawarra, there was only one incident report involving drugs in term 1 this year and three involving weapons.
Assaults, including punching, slapping and throwing objects, accounted for 12 incidents, while threats to students and teachers accounted for 13.
Police were called to more than half of the incidents, three of which involved a parent of a student at the school.
Mobile phones and social media played a role in six incidents, with students using text messages to organise fights or film assaults on their phones to share with other students.
Figures for the Illawarra South East region include schools covered by the Monaro, Shoalhaven and Far South Coast and Goulburn police commands.