Whether an approach is suitable for the school's needs and aims is often the first question considered by schools when selecting an anti-bullying approach. Equally as important is considering if an approach will be feasible and practical in your school context.

Why is feasibility important?
A fit for your school
Practical information should be readily available
Prompt questions

Why is feasibility important

If an approach is not feasible within the school context, staff and students may want to change it in ways that could compromise its effectiveness.

Feasibility underpins implementation, and implementation underpins effectiveness.

Considering feasibility before selecting an anti-bullying approach will help to avoid the need for major changes which may reduce effectiveness. Many schools make modifications or adaptations to approaches when they implement them. However, research has shown that such changes during implementation can reduce the effectiveness of an approach. Read more at Sustainability.

The feasibility of implementation impacts on the motivation and commitment of members of the school community. If an approach is extremely complex, if it requires extensive additional time to implement well, or if the necessary resources or leadership support are not available, it may not be feasible or practical and implementation may stall. An approach can hardly be effective in these conditions.

Cost is usually a first, and important, question for schools, but feasibility includes much more than having the funds to purchase the approach. See more below.

A fit for your school

Only you, in consultation with your community, can decide whether an approach is feasible and practical, because only you can identify if the approach 'fits' the resources, support and constraints in your school context.

Successful long-term implementation will depend on having considered all costs and human resource requirements for the approach from the outset.

Practical questions to ask about an approach include the time and human resources required, the initial and ongoing cost, and the compatibility with other activities and requirements in your school.

Practical information should be readily available

Cost is usually a first, and important, question for schools, but feasibility includes much more than having the funds to purchase the approach. A wide range of important questions is considered below.

Information that schools need to determine whether an approach is feasible should be available in, for example, a manual for the approach. This includes:

  • initial and ongoing costs
  • the need for any additional costs (e.g. for training, travel or release time, online access fees)
  • time required for implementation and monitoring
  • who delivers the approach (e.g. classroom teachers, or other additional staff)
  • skills needed by the person who delivers the approach; additional staff training needed prior to implementation and then to sustain the approach over time
  • whether activities are 'added on' or integrated into the curriculum. If the approach is an 'add-on' to the curriculum, the anticipated additional time required (e.g. the number of sessions, time per session, number of weeks)
  • the materials provided (e.g. teaching materials and student handouts) and the costs of materials
  • any additional materials to be produced by the school
  • adaptations required to content and materials to make them appropriate for diverse student learning needs
  • human resources that will be required for administration, implementation, monitoring and reporting
  • alignment with other policies, procedures and programs in the school
  • alignment with guidelines such as the Australian Curriculum' s General capabilities and Cross-curriculum priorities.

Prompt questions for Feasibility

Key question: Is the approach feasible and practical in the school context?

To ask about the approach

  • Are all the requirements to implement the approach detailed in the guidelines?
  • Is the approach 'ready to go' or do schools have to do significant work as well in order to implement?
  • What are the initial and ongoing costs?
  • What training and support is provided?
  • What time and human resources are required from the school?
  • Does the approach align with existing policies and with national educational frameworks and guidelines, and any other requirements with which schools need to comply?
  • Has this approach been successfully used in schools with similar resources and constraints as our school?

To ask about your school

  • Do we have the time, human resources and funding for initial and ongoing costs?
  • Can we provide staff with the skills, knowledge and support to implement the approach?
  • Is the approach compatible with other activities and requirements with which we need to comply?
  • If this approach is delivered through extra classes (i.e. not embedded into curriculum), what impact will that have on the curriculum, and on people and other activities?
  • Is the approach a good fit with our school resources and constraints?
  • Can the school's existing resources and activities be harnessed or redirected for this approach?

Use the STEPS form for schools (PDF, 651KB) to record your answers.