Ms Parata says with many schools and groups today marking Pink Shirt Day, which takes a stand against bullying, it is great to have the new guide out in schools.
The Bullying Prevention Advisory Group, chaired by the Secretary for Education, has produced Bullying prevention and response to assist principals, teachers and parents prevent bullying in schools.
“Teacher and principal groups, child advocates, NetSafe, government agencies and community groups all put this together and I want to thank them for all their work,” Ms Parata says.
“Bullying disrupts school life, affects students’ health and wellbeing and directly contributes to poor education and life outcomes.
“Many schools are doing a great job tackling it, but this guide provides all schools with practical steps they can take to create a safe and positive environment for their students, and to respond to any bullying incidents that do happen.”
Ms Parata says drawing on school and agency best-practice, the guide features a number of effective tools for schools to prevent bullying.
“A culture of ‘safe telling’ is vital to stopping bullying. Students, teachers and parents must have the confidence to report incidents, knowing their concerns will be listened to, and responded to, at all times. Real change also happens when students, staff, and parents have input into bullying prevention policies and decide together, to make their school a place of tolerance and respect for all students.“
“Schools that do best at reducing bullying have a policy defining bullying and how their community will address it. They respond to bullying no matter where it occurs. Many also survey their students on school safety and respond to their concerns.”
The guide has been distributed to schools and can be downloaded at:www.education.govt.nz/bullyingprevention.