What Schools can do
Elements of a school anti-bullying policy
These are the main elements typically included in a school anti-bullying policy.
The process of developing a good policy is extremely important. It should involve the relevant stakeholders, including all staff members and representatives of parents and students. Unless there is informed agreement among members of the school community its implementation is likely to be weak and ineffective. Make sure the approved policy is made available to the whole school community and is publically accessible through the NET.
- A statement of the school's stand against bullying. (Include why bullying is considered unacceptable, given the values of the school)
- A succinct definition of bullying with a listing of the different kinds. These include direct bullying as in face-to-face physical and verbal bullying, and indirect bullying as in unfair exclusion, rumour spreading and cyber bullying.
- A declaration of the rights of individuals in the school community - students, teachers, other workers and parents - to be free of bullying
- A statement of the responsibilities of those who see bullying going on to seek to stop it.
- A description of what the school will do proactively to prevent bullying from occurring.
- An account of how the school proposes to deal reactively with cases of bullying.
- An undertaking to collaborate with parents in addressing the problem of bullying, especially in the resolution of cases in which action is to be taken by both the school and parents.
- A plan to evaluate the policy in the near future
References1. The National Safe Schools Framework (2011) foi.deewr.gov.au/node/20162 This provides guidelines for Australian Schools.
2. Rigby ,K & Thomas,E.B (2010) How schools counter bullying: policies and procedures in selected Australian schools. (Revised Edition). Camberwell: ACER. (an account of actions undertaken in Australian schools)
3, Smith, P.K., Kupferberg,A., Mora-Merchan,J.A.,Bosley,S., & Osborn, R. et al (2012). A content analysis of school anti-bullying policies: a follow-up after six years Educational Psychology in Practice: theory, research and practice in educational psychology, 28, 27-70.This is the most comprehensive account of the content of school anti-bullying policies currently employed in schools in England.