Policies and procedures
Successfully preventing and responding to bullying requires clear and widely communicated anti-bullying strategies and practices.
Identifying and implementing policies and procedures with staff, students and families helps to create a safe school environment.
Preventive actions include establishing clear, whole-school behavioural expectations. Schools can also utilise their existing school teams (i.e. learning and support team, student wellbeing team and/or student action teams) to oversee school safety and wellbeing initiatives. For example, conducting regular classroom and playground reviews to determine what behaviours are occurring and identifying any potential or emerging issues.
Whole-school and specific practices to respond to bullying should be clearly communicated and understood by students, staff and parents/carers. This includes having a well-defined process for parents and students to confidentially report bullying, and a clear plan of action for staff to follow when bullying is observed or reported.
Research identifies several responsive approaches used by schools to address bullying.
- direct sanctions
- restorative practice
- Support Group Method
- Method of Shared Concern (also called Pikas Method).
An overview of these approaches, their use in Australian schools and perceived effectiveness in addressing bullying can be found in the NSW Department of Education's literature review, Anti-bullying interventions in schools - what works? (PDF 4741.34KB).