Schools with an integrated strategy to prevent and respond to bullying have more successful outcomes.
Why is a school strategy important?
Working in partnership with students, parents, carers, and the wider community, schools can develop and promote bullying prevention policies and programs. This will help reduce and manage bullying and unacceptable behaviour and enhance the capacity of the whole school community to promote respectful relationships and provide safe environments.
Communicating the school strategy
Regular communication with staff, parents and students about the school strategy will see a reduction in reported bullying. This communication includes:
- an understandings about bullying and a clear bullying prevention policy
- consistent positive action including the implementation of a wide variety of strategies to address bullying and increase social skills.
A culture of inclusion
Establish a culture of inclusion and respect that welcomes all students. Reward students when they show thoughtfulness and respect for each other, adults and the school.
Safe student interaction
A safe and supportive school climate can help prevent bullying. Safety starts in the classroom. Students should also feel and be safe everywhere at school, in the classrooms, the library, the toilets, the bus, and the playground.
Make sure students interact safely. Monitor bullying 'hot spots' in and around the school buildings. Students may be at higher risk of bullying in settings where there is little or no adult monitoring or supervision, such as bathrooms and playgrounds.
Enlist staff help
Enlist the help of all school staff. All staff can keep an eye out for bullying. They also help set the tone at school. Teachers, bus drivers, office staff, librarians, school nurses and others see and influence students every day. Messages reach students best when they come from many different adults who talk about and show respect and inclusion. Train school staff to prevent bullying.