School staff play an important role in preventing and intervening in bullying, modelling appropriate relationships and developing a positive school climate.
Specific and regular training about bullying is a significant factor in teachers' ability to effectively respond to bullying. In a whole-school approach, professional learning opportunities are provided to everyone in the school community to promote awareness of and provide effective responses to bullying.
Research has consistently identified that the provision of local professional development and training in responding to bullying for teachers is a key component of an effective whole-school approach to preventing bullying.
Students have told researchers that if they perceive that their teachers do not know how to effectively intervene, this prevents them from seeking help.
Students are more likely to report bullying at school if they think:
- the teacher knows what to do
- the teacher will respond sensitively and effectively
- they will be treated with respect and provided support
- the teacher won't make things worse.
Because teachers and other staff are often the first responders to bullying incidents, they should be prepared with knowledge and specific skills.
Responding to parents reports
The responding to parent reports about bullying workshop package was developed for Australian schools in consultation with Queensland psychologist Dr Karen Healy. Download the presentation:
The workshop materials for teachers and schools staff have been developed as a facilitator-led group workshop. However, the PowerPoint presentation could also be used as a self-paced training opportunity in small or one-teacher-school contexts. The sessions aim to:
- provide parent and staff perspectives on bullying
- increase staff confidence when dealing with and responding to parent reports about bullying
- assist in clarifying school protocols for reporting of bullying, including when and how to report and document.