Strengthening responses to children’s bullying within and beyond the school gates will be the key focus of a new nation-leading bullying prevention strategy released by the state government today.
The Department for Education has developed the strategy through the South Australian Bullying Prevention Coalition.
The statewide coalition includes Catholic and Independent school sectors, the Commissioner for Children and Young People, government departments and leading bullying prevention researchers. The Coalition will guide implementation of the strategy.
Initiatives under the strategy are driven by evidence-based research and include actions targeted both within and beyond the school gates.
Actions within school gates include:
- Providing new resources, information and training for teachers, students and families about bullying
- Strengthening bullying prevention policy requirements and compliance measures in schools
- A partnership with Youth Affairs Council of South Australia to support student led bullying prevention initiatives in schools
- The targeted expansion of the PEACE Pack program based on the findings of the 2018 pilot program
Actions beyond school gates include:
- Strengthening legislative responses to bullying by establishing bullying prevention guidelines under the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017
- Collaborating with non-traditional partners such as local councils, community services and other government departments to promote bullying prevention, including piloting a community recreation program in the City of Playford Council area for children and young people
- The Commissioner for Children and Young People will create mechanisms for young people to advise decision makers and urban planners about the establishment of safe child and youth-oriented spaces
- The Commissioner will also undertake a comprehensive consultation process across the major sport codes to develop child-designed bullying prevention initiatives
For more information on the full range of initiatives please read the full strategy here.
The Education Department has already actioned several items to support the strategy, including completing an audit of all public schools’ bullying prevention policies to ensure that schools are meeting the minimum requirements, a pilot of the PEACE Pack program in primary schools and funding of $138,000 to support the participation of 288 government schools in the 2019 National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence.
The strategy was informed by an extensive public consultation process at the end of 2018, which included:
- The “Keeping children safe from bullying” conference and community consultation in November 2018 which was attended by 900 experts, researchers and delegates
- A YourSAy public survey that elicited 844 responses
- An expert roundtable led by the Attorney General
- A consultation process led by the Commissioner for Children and Young People to elicit the perspectives of children and young people about bullying.