What can the school do?
On this page:
All schools are required to provide a safe physical and emotional environment for their students (National Administration Guideline 5 - NAG 5). Your school’s anti-bullying policy helps make sure the obligation to provide a safe learning environment is being met.
Schools can be enormously helpful once they are aware that there is a bullying concern.
Most mild bullying can be managed by students themselves, with support from their classroom teachers. Responding to more severe bullying behaviour may need help from senior school staff.
REMEMBER: When talking to school staff about bullying, try not to be aggressive or lose your temper. A good working relationship between you and the school is important.
How should I talk to our school?
When talking to school staff about bullying, be calm and constructive.
During meetings with staff:
- Refer to your written notes to be as clear as possible about what happened and write notes of the discussions with your child’s teacher or other staff.
- Ask what steps will be taken and if a plan is to be developed with home and school strategies.
- Recognise that investigating the situations at school will take time.
- Write down when you contacted the school, who you have spoken with, and any agreements that were made.
- Stay in touch with the teacher and let them know if problems continue or something new happens.
What kind of questions could I ask our school?
- Does the school have a bullying prevention policy?
- What procedures are there for dealing with bullying behaviour?
- What support is available for students who are involved in bullying?
- Who should my child report bullying to?
What can you expect from your school?
The Office of the Children’s Commissioner has made recommendations about how schools should respond to reports of bullying. Parents and students should expect:
- To be heard and responded to sensitively and not to be dismissed.
- To be told that the report of bullying will be investigated and that there will be a response in a timely manner.
- To get feedback on the situation and to have the incident responded to in an appropriate way.
- To be protected from negative consequences of their reporting.
- That the school will intervene and support initiators, targets and bystanders that are involved in bullying behaviour.
The school and parent should keep each other informed of any changes and developments.