Sonia Sharp is a representative of the Victorian Education Department on the National Centre Against Bullying. Under Sonia's leadership, the Early Childhood and School Education Group develops and coordinates the Department's early childhood and schools policy and programs. The programs are focused on the delivery of high quality education and support in government and non-government schools, maternal and child health, kindergarten and playgroup programs, Early Childhood Intervention Services, Aboriginal services, integrated children's services, school nursing, as well as the licensing and monitoring of over 4,000 children's services.
Sonia's 25 years of experience in education equips her well to lead the development of a more integrated, autonomous and accountable learning and development service covering the early and school years. In Sheffield in the UK Sonia was Executive Director for children, young people, families, lifelong learning and skills and was instrumental in significant service reform to build an integrated approach to education, social services, health and youth services.
Sonia holds a Master degree and Doctorate in Education Psychology and the National Professional Qualification for Head Teachers. She has published a number of books and articles and is known internationally for her work on tackling bullying in schools.
During my time working directly with schools, I became aware of how many children's lives were significantly affected by experiencing bullying behaviour. This could blight their social life, their educational career and their self-esteem. Bullying is widespread and can be very difficult to stop and so I believe it is important that we work together at the organisational, group and individual level to prevent bullying and intervene early.
I was fortunate enough to be principal research fellow on the UK based and government funded Department for Education (DfE) Sheffield anti -bullying project that worked with 23 schools to identify practical strategies for tackling bullying in schools. The project has stimulated anti-bullying strategies in schools across the UK and internationally.
My background in education, as a teacher, researcher and educational psychologist has helped me to develop an understanding of how schools work, and the social dynamics of the playground and classroom. More recently, my experience as a senior officer in government has enabled me to bring an insight into how policy reform can support developments in this area.
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