Your child’s school is your first point of contact and concerns about any issue relating to school is best resolved where it occurs – at the school.
It’s very important to see the school as your partner in your child’s educational journey and to establish a positive relationship with the leaders, teachers and other staff.
Schools need to know if you have any concerns about your child's education. Teaching and learning works best when parents and schools work together to solve any problems.
Some parents will have had unfortunate and regrettable experiences of bullying in their own school life. Try not to let these get in the way of working collaboratively with your child’s teachers to solve any problems.
Schools have very clear responsibilities to prevent and manage bullying and to create safe and supportive learning environments for your children.
Before you approach your child's teacher or school, be sure to make an appointment.
Information below relates to what policies and approaches to bullying you can expect to find in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
Parents/carers can refer to these policies, which guide the development of policies in your school. You have a right to see your school’s policies and you should be asked to participate in policy development and/or review.
Under the provisions of this policy, it is stated that ‘All students and staff have the right to be treated fairly and with dignity in an environment free from disruption, intimidation, harassment, victimisation and discrimination. To achieve this, all schools are expected to maintain high standards of discipline.’
Principals have a responsibility ‘for ensuring a safe, secure and harmonious work environment for students and staff.’
Under this policy, parents have a right to see the school’s Anti-bullying Plan that has been developed in collaboration with members of the school community.
This policy is very comprehensive and outlines the responsibilities of the Principal, the staff of the school, the students, parents/caregivers as well as members of the school community.
Please look at the link about to see what you, as parent/caregiver are entitled to expect from your school.Leader, Behaviour Services, 9244 5340 is the person to contact if you have a concern.
Education Queensland’s website specifically states that:
‘Education Queensland does not tolerate bullying in any form, and schools use a range of proactive strategies to deal with bullying behaviour.
All students and parents are encouraged to raise concerns they have with their school principal immediately so that action can be taken to address the problem.
Every state school includes strategies for addressing bullying, including cyber bullying, in its Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students.’
It is quite clear that schools are expected to take a whole-school approach to ‘creating a safe, supportive and disciplined learning environment, where students can learn, free from bullying harassment and violence.’
Parents/caregivers can look at this document (http://behaviour.education.qld.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/preventing-bullying-violence/working-together-toolkit.doc) to see what bullying is – and is not and what the expectations are of students who are bullied, who bully, the school leaders, teacher and other school staff and the school community as a whole.
You can expect to be able to see the school’s anti-bullying policy, together with the procedural steps staff take to respond to incidents of bullying. It might be in student diaries, a printed document or on the schools website or intranet.
The Victorian Education Department (DET) website states: ‘A Bullying Prevention Policy should be developed collaboratively with staff, students, parents or care givers and the wider school community’ and all schools are mandated to have one (http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/bullystoppers/Pages/prinprevent.aspx)
The policy might be part of ‘student engagement’ policy and approaches as research has shown that students who are enthusiastic about their learning are more successful academically.
You, as parents/caregivers, have the right to see the school’s policy and seek satisfaction about how bullying incidents are being managed.
A bullying policy does the following things:
You can make complaints here Parent complaints about government schools. If your complaint is not resolved, it is referred to an independent office.
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