School bullying remains a serious issue in Australia. Over one in four Year 4 to Year 9 students report being bullied every few weeks. The effects on young victims, perpetrators and the wider school community are significant and can be lasting.
Schools take action on the third Friday in March every year through the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence.
It is Australia’s largest bullying prevention campaign for schools, and teachers, students, and the school community have embraced this year’s theme of ‘Take Action Together’.
We know that schools that take part in the day are seeing positive changes. They report that participation in the NDA has improved understanding of bullying within their community. A Shape the Future of the NDA survey analysed the effect of the day on schools, which shows that the more years schools participate, the stronger their results are.
For schools that had more than five years’ involvement:
- 73 per cent reported positive changes in students
- 66 percent reported positive changes for staff
- 66 percent reported positive changes in school climate.
Silence is not the answer to school bullying as some of the responses to the survey show:
“The NDA has been an important part of giving bullying prevention a profile and focus each year.”
“In participating in the NDA ... we are approaching bullying as a whole school community ... It sets this as a priority for our school and a tone for the year.”
Each year registered schools can access a school event tool kit to plan NDA activities. These tool kits contain classroom resources for discussing bullying, suggested activities and promotional material. The resources also provide advice for young people and their families on how to respond to bullying and where to get help.
“Overall the climate of the school has become more inclusive... The students understand the school’s values and what it means to show respect to everyone.”
Schools and their communities can access evidence-based resources all year round on the Bullying. No Way! website.
The Safe and Supportive School Communities Working Group is responsible for managing the NDA. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment is a member of the Working Group alongside Australian state and territory governments, and Catholic and independent school representatives.
- Access the resources on the Bullying. No Way! website
- Explore the benefits for schools who participate in the National Day of Action