Image 6.1Schools that enhance staff, students’ and families’ understandings and skills are more likely to enhance students’ social development and effectively reduce bullying behaviours. Key understandings about bullying include the nature, prevalence and types of bullying, as well as information about how bystanders can reduce the prevalence of bullying. Key understandings are supported with skills or competencies needed to prevent, identify and respond to bullying incidents effectively and consistently.

Raising awareness and teaching common understandings about bullying is an important factor in equipping the whole-school community with the knowledge required to take positive action to prevent bullying and respond effectively when bullying does occur. All members of the school, including teaching and non-teaching staff, students and their families, need to be the target of education efforts to build the knowledge and skills to prevent, identify and respond effectively to bullying behaviour. In this context, staff professional learning, curriculum content and family communication can be used to ensure common, consistent understandings across the whole-school community. To support the establishment of common understandings and competencies related to bullying situations, schools can implement developmentally appropriate curriculum, offer targeted professional learning opportunities, distribute newsletter items and present assembly items related to social skills and values.