Violence soars in Illawarra schools

School violence is at its highest level in a decade in the Illawarra, with serious reports more than doubling in the last year alone.

The latest Department of Education figures show 25 reports of assault in Illawarra South East region schools in term 3 last year, following a pattern of increasing violence throughout the year.

A total of 67 serious incidents were reported to the department in term 3 - more than double the figures for the same term in 2012.

According to the report, there were 10 incidents involving weapons, eight threats and seven drug-related cases in the region.

Department of Education spokeswoman Julee Brienen said the majority of schools across the state, 83 per cent, did not report a single incident in the third term.

She said an increase in incidents reflected, in part, more stringent reporting procedures.

Schools did not tolerate violence or anti-social behaviour.

"Any student involved in violence, in bringing a weapon or illegal drugs to school, or who engages in criminal behaviour at school is suspended and their parents are notified," she said.

Opposition spokesman for education and training Ryan Park said the NSW government needed to do more to address the problem.

"It's time the government got serious about supporting and rehabilitating students who need the most support," he said.

"We need additional support for counsellors and an immediate increase in the number of spaces available in specialist behavioural classes if we are to see a reverse in these alarming statistics."

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