What schools are actually doing about bullying

Home Bullying in Brief What schools are actually doing about bullying

What schools are actually doing about bullying

In recent years there have been 3 useful studies:

  1. In the United States, Sherer and Nickerson (2010) have examined anti-bullying practices in American schools as described by educational psychologists .
  2. In England, Thompson and Smith (2011) have surveyed schools and Local Education Authorities.
  3. In Australia, Rigby and Johnson (2015) have provided a report on the situation in Australian schools based on a project supported by the Australian Department of Education and Training.
There have been many suggestions made in the literature on school bullying on what schools should do to counter bullying, some emphasising proactive or preventive strategies such as educating children in classrooms to become more emotionally intelligent, others emphasising steps that should be taken when bullying occurs, and yet others that recognise the importance both approaches. However, relatively little has been undertaken to discover what schools are actually doing to stop bullying and how effective their work has proved to be.

Furthermore, information about bullying in schools has generally been obtained from one source only: most commonly students. Rarely has it been drawn from a range of stakeholders which includes teachers and parents as well as students. This study funded by the Australian Department of Education and Training sought to gather data from all of these sources to produce a comprehensive picture of what schools were doing, or seen as doing (or not doing) in addressing bullying.

In this study, 6 educational jurisdictions in Australia enabled us to obtain data from a selection of Government schools. Twenty five schools provided detailed information on how they were tackling bullying; 1,688 students (in year 5-10) reported on their experiences of bullying and what actions the school were taking. 167 parents provided their views on the matter. A novel feature of the study was a quiz on beliefs and knowledge about bullying answered by 451 teachers.

Download the entire report here.
Sherer, Y. C., & Nickerson, A. B. (2010). Anti-bullying practices in American schools: Perspectives of school psychologists. Psychology in the Schools, 47, 217-229 Thompson, F. & Smith, P.K. (2011). The use and effectiveness of anti-bullying strategies in schools DFE-RR098. Rigby, K & Johnson, K. (2015). The Prevalence and Effectiveness of approaches to counter bullying in Australian schools. Canberra: Australian Department of Education and Training.