The National Safe Schools Framework
A key resource available on the Student Wellbeing Hub, the National Safe Schools Framework (the Framework) provides school communities with a vision, a set of guiding principles, and practical tools and resources that will help build a positive school culture and whole-of-school safety and wellbeing policies.
Building on the original 2003 framework, the revised Framework was endorsed by all education ministers in December 2010. The Australian Government collaborates with state and territory governments to support the framework as part of a national approach to build safe and supportive school communities that promote positive relationships, resilience and wellbeing.
The Framework is once again being updated to make sure it is relevant to contemporary issues facing Australian school communities. The Department is working with the state and territory government and non-government education authorities on the review to ensure that appropriate jurisdictional expertise has been captured.
Student Wellbeing Hub and resources
The Student Wellbeing Hub contains a wealth of Australian Curriculum aligned information and resources for educators, parents, and students on strategies to build and sustain the wellbeing of the whole school community. The Hub is underpinned by the National Safe Schools Framework.
The Hub is designed to be responsive to issues affecting students and schools to build positive, respectful and supportive teaching and learning communities.
- professional learning modules with videos,
- support materials,
- podcasts and practical strategies
- a school audit survey tool where schools can assess the effectiveness of their policies and procedures in relation to student wellbeing
The National Safe Schools Framework classroom resources for key topics including:
- healthy minds and bodies
- protecting against bullying
- respecting diversity
- building positive relationships
- safe and responsible choices
- being safe online.
Parents and students have dedicated sections of the Hub.
Parents can browse information and advice to help them:
- support their child,
- build positive communication with their child's school, and
- contribute actively to the wider school community.
Students will find age-appropriate information, advice, and games that build their understanding of topics and issues important to their wellbeing at school and beyond.
The Hub is funded by the Australian Government, working with state and territory governments, the non-government school sector, and Education Services Australia.
The Australian Government knows that online safety is an important issue for schools and families. Many Government cyberbullying initiatives provide information for students, teachers, parents and the community on creating safe online environments.
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is Australia's leader in online safety, helping young people have safe, positive experiences online, and encouraging behavioural change to help ensure a generation of Australian children can act responsibly online.
The Student Wellbeing Hub also provides information about cyberbullying.
Bullying and violence of any nature is never acceptable, and all students have the right to be safe at school.
The Bullying. No Way! website provides information, resources and helpful ideas for school communities about how to counter bullying, harassment, and violent student behaviour.
The website promotes the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence, Australia's key anti-bullying event for schools. On this day, each year, all Australian students are encouraged to take a stand against bullying and violence in their classroom, school and beyond. It is Australia's largest anti-bullying event for schools, giving schools and students the opportunity to promote their own anti-bullying messages and programs to their community.
Schools are encouraged to participate in the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence by registering at the Bullying. No Way! website.
The national day and website are initiatives of the Safe and Supportive School Communities Working Group, which includes representatives from the department, all states and territories, and the Catholic and independent sector.
What to do if your child is being bullied
Start by talking to your child's school. Stay calm and take notes into the meeting so you don't forget the things you want to cover.
If your child has any evidence of the bullying (such as emails, text messages or physical signs) take these to the meeting.
If you have already tried talking to the school and the problem is persisting, contact your state or territory education authority, who can then investigate. Call the main switch number and ask to speak to someone who works in the student welfare area.
Your child might find it helpful to look through the Bullying. No Way! and Student Wellbeing Hub websites which provide coping strategies and opportunity for your child to share their experiences with other young people who have faced the same situations.
Bullying research projects
Various research projects associated with bullying are available.
The Australian Government is investing $247 million over four years (2018-2022) to renew the National School Chaplaincy Programme (NSCP).
The NSCP supports the wellbeing of students and school communities through the provision of pastoral care services and strategies delivered by chaplains.
Participating schools are eligible to receive up to $20,000 in metropolitan or regional areas and $24,000 in remote or very remote areas. This funding will support approximately 3000 schools per year to access the services of a qualified chaplain.
The renewed NSCP will have a greater focus on supporting students and school communities affected by bullying, in particular cyberbullying.
An independent evaluation of the NSCP found it to be highly effective in boosting student wellbeing.
While the Australian Government funds the NSCP, states and territories are responsible for its administration in their jurisdictions through a National Partnership Agreement with the Commonwealth.
Schools interested in participating in the NSCP from 2019 onwards should contact their education authority to discuss.
Safe Schools Coalition Australia
The Safe Schools Coalition Australia aimed at creating safe and supportive school environments for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse people by reducing homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination in schools. Free resources are available on the Student Wellbeing Hub.
Review of Safe Schools Coalition Australia resources for schools
An independent review of the Safe Schools Coalition Australia (SSCA), led by Professor Bill Louden, advised on the extent to which the program resources were consistent with the intent and objectives of the SSCA program and were used appropriately by schools. More information is available in the terms of reference.