National Safe Schools Framework: Policy and practice to reduce bullying in Australian schools

Cross, Donna; Epstein, Melanie; Hearn, Lydia; Slee, Phillip; Shaw, Therese; Monks, Helen
September 2011
International Journal of Behavioral Development;Sep2011, Vol. 35 Issue 5, p398
Academic Journal
In 2003 Australia was one of the first countries to develop an integrated national policy, called the National Safe Schools Framework (NSSF), for the prevention and management of violence, bullying, and other aggressive behaviors. The effectiveness of this framework has not yet been formally evaluated. Cross-sectional data collected in 2007 from 7,418 students aged 9 to 14 years old and 453 teachers from 106 representative Australian schools were analyzed to determine teachers’ perceptions about the extent of implementation of the NSSF, teachers’ capacity to address student bullying, and students’ reports of bullying in their school, 4 years following the framework’s dissemination. While methodological issues limit the findings, schools appear not to have widely implemented the recommended safe school practices, teachers appear to need more training to address bullying, especially covert bullying, and bullying prevalence among students seems relatively unchanged compared to Australian data collected 4 years prior to the launch of the NSSF.


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