“We know that bullying can occur in schools, but it is how students, staff and parents respond that makes a difference,” Mr McKim said.
“I am pleased that our Tasmanian Government schools are working to create safe and supportive environments for all our students.
The Jordan River Learning Federation’s East Derwent, Gagebrook and Herdsman’s Cove campuses have had a social skilling process in place for the past seven years, which helps students react to the wide range of challenges they come across every day.
While East Derwent Primary also has a Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) program, which aims to reward students who are working as part of the school community.
Minister Mr McKim saw a “meet and greet” session in action, where students focus on learning or improving on a particular social skill.
“These sessions take place every day, and focus on topics such as ‘mates are great’, ‘manners matter’ and ‘mind your own business’,” Mr McKim said.
What particularly impressed Minister McKim is that since introducing the social skilling process and PBS program, the school has seen a dramatic reduction in behavioural problems in the classroom and in the playground.
“I look forward to seeing these excellent programs at schools such as East Derwent complemented by the work the Department of Education is doing to revise its current policy in the area of wellbeing.
“This will help us support and promote the Department’s values, in particular equity, respect and relationships, in all our schools.”
Mr McKim said the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence was a great opportunity to raise community awareness of the impact of bullying in schools, and reinforce the importance of positive behaviour.
“However, bullying is a shared issue with shared solutions, and it is not something that can be tackled by schools alone,” Mr McKim said.
“That is why I am pleased to note that the theme of this year’s National Day of Action is parents and families taking a stand together against bullying.
“All Australian education jurisdictions are working together to address bullying and violence in schools by developing strategies and programs for students, parents, schools and the wider community.
Visit the Bullying No way website: www.bullyingnoway.gov.au for resources and help for parents, teachers and students.